Review Anthology: Drug Dealing Marie Antoinette, Dog Thievery, and Live in A Cult

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Seed by Lisa Heathfield

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Seed loves you. Seed will never let you go.

Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed. A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late.

Seed is a story of Pearl, a fifteen year old who has lived in Seed her whole life. Seed is a cult, even though the people inside doesn’t realize it, that worships the nature. Nature provides everything for them, so they views technology and outsider as a bad thing. This book paint a perfect picture on how a cult works, it is based on fear and lies. Everytime the member of Seed did something forbidden, the leader, Papa S will manipulate them to believing that “bad things” are happening because of it.

Because of the lies and manipulation Papa S does, the members can’t see how wrong and disgusting Papa S is. He took the young girls as his “companion”, each time (weekly? monthly?) different girls. He doesn’t allow any doctors, and does another terrible things (Sorry for the vagueness, trying to avoid spoiler here!)

The story is very fast paced and the writing conveys the emotions and situation inside Seed really well. I’m honestly felt underwhelmed by the book, but overall it is a great story that gives us insight of how life inside the cult works.

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Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

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Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

Glitter is a book with weird setting that took me a while to get used to. It sets in the future, where a company got so rich they decided to buy the Versailles palace and assume the life of 18th century, while the world outside stays modern. Inside the Versailles, there are king, who’s actualy the CEO of the company, dukes, duchess, marquees, and other monarch official. They use the 18th century dresses, while also using modern technology. It’s so weird for me to read it, and honestly feels pointless. It’s just too extravagant and honestly stupid. Oh the things rich people do. Still, it’s fascinating to see the decription of Versailles palace, the dresses and the etiquettes, even though I had to open google more than one time to understand the French word thrown here and there.

The character felt underdeveloped for me. I was hoping the king is the type of jerk-with-soft-side, but oh no he’s not. He is exactly what he is, at least in this book. I’m curious about him in the next book, and I feel a triangle coming. Saber is pretty flat, he’s your typical angsty love interest, but I admit he’s 100x better that the King. As for Danica… Well I love how determinded she is, but she is too confident in her plans. She doesn’t know anything of the outside world and wanted to escape, but doesn’t do any research or be more careful to the people she trusts. She thinks she knows everything and therefore doesn’t make any plan B. It also makes the story predictable, because I can see the ending from the first time she got the idea.

Despite the negative things I said, I actually liked this book a lot. In fact I stayed up all night reading it. The story flows very well and the writing is easy to read. The writing thought everything up, from the way people dresses until the way they talk. It pays attention to details without being info dumpy. The plot is really good and interesting, but I found the ending was underwhelming. I will definitely read the next book though, I’m really curious about what happens next!

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Faithful by Alice Hoffman

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Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.

Faithful is the journey of Shelby, from surviving the crash that put her bestfriend in a coma until turning her life by never giving up. At the beginning of the book, we meet the Shelby that doesn’t have any will to live and punishing herself for surviving the crash. At the end of the book, we met an entirely different Shelby.

I really like this book. Shelby’s progress isn’t immediate, it’s slow and small steps. But when you stop at any point in the book, especially after she’s moving to the city, you’ll be surprised at how different Shelby at that point is with the Shelby we met a the beginning of the book. She evolved, into a better and stronger person, through hardships and love, through loss and meeting new people. This book feels like a reflection of a human lives, and it hits me really hard. I’ve always been a kind of person that is afraid of the future, but this book made me realize that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never know what will happen and there are things that you can’t control.

Faithful captures the human lives through the story of Shelby. Even though you never experience what Shelby had experienced, you’ll still feel connected to the story and feel like growing up with Shelby at the end of the book.

Have you read any of these books?

On Growing Up and Letting Go

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4 thoughts on “Review Anthology: Drug Dealing Marie Antoinette, Dog Thievery, and Live in A Cult

  1. Geraldine @ Corralling Books says:

    I haven’t read any of these books, but I’m SO HAPPY you liked Glitter! It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read because I really liked Aprillyne Pike’s Wings series when I was younger, and then there’s Versailles which is just a place that has enthralled me for so long!! 😀

    Like

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