4 Stars Out Of 5
Pregnant women - beware! (but still a good book)
October 29, 2015
Heads up to any pregnant ladies who may read this book - just be prepared to let your hormone imbalance get the best of you. Had I not been pregnant, I probably would have shed a tear or two at some point ... instead, I completely had a meltdown. Body wracking sobs, an ocean of tears, and the tears continued to threatened their return some hours after I was finished with this book. The fact that the book highlighted some of my personal worst fears I'm sure didn't help in my current state. Laureano told the story the well (otherwise, why would I cry?) but I thought other ladies sharing my condition may appreciate the warning.
That said, I loved Book 1 in this trilogy. I read it the summer it came out and actively tried to stay abreast for information about book 2. Somehow I *entirely* and completely missed it's release in January! When I had the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance. No where was there indication that this was book 3! As a result, as I read I was very, very confused many times.
It didn't matter that I read the first book over a year ago, I can usually pick up where I left off and details, if forgotten, will return as I read. This time there were so many blank spaces. I couldn't imagine not remembering so much. I actually started thinking Laureano just had a large time gap between the books and filled readers in with what happened in this peculiar fashion. Except, it seemed that the reader was expected to remember. The thought that I missed book 2 never crossed my mind! So please - please! do yourself a favor and read the first TWO books before reading this one.
The fact that the book still receives 4 stars in spite of the lack of knowledge I had going in says something for the quality of the work. It is likely that, once I read book 2, it will earn all 5 stars.
Truly, Laureano has crafted a believable world with characters in whom you vest yourself without intention. This book also deals with some heavy material no present in other books labeled YA. Don't let the label put you off! This is truly an excellent series (I am making assumptions about book 2 based off books 1 & 3) to be enjoyed by young adults and adults alike! The depth, credibility, and craftsmanship of the story far exceed any other YA novel I have read to date.
The series does nicely wrap up with this work (which doesn't mean 100% happy, there is certainly an element of deep loss, hence all my tears, but real life isn't always 100% happy), but I can also see it providing a springboard for future series, if she chooses.
-- make sure you read the previous 2 books of the trilogy
-- if you are of a hormonal disposition or in a hormonal season, you will likely shed massive tears
-- even with the gap of book 2, this is one of the best YA books I've read. I simply refuse to give it 5 stars until I see how exactly the books transition one to the other, and if there are loose ends or particulars I think not finished in the best fashion.
If book 2 is on the same level as Books 1 & 3, this could easily be a trilogy that needs to be included in home libraries everywhere, and a series to whole-heartedly recommend to youth looking for good examples, valor, honor, and making extremely difficult right choices.
I received a complimentary ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.