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Positive Feelings: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Hi!

A little while back Harper Childrens’ Audio was kind enough to send me a review copy of Heather Demetrios’ first book in the new Dark Caravan series, Exquisite Captive. This book was inspired by Arabian Nights, which is not a story you see popping up in YA fiction that often, so I was pretty interested from the beginning.

Overview

Exquisite Captive by Heather DemetriosNalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

My Thoughts

Overall, I have positive feelings toward Exquisite Captive. The story, although feeling similar to some other stories I’ve read recently, was for the most part unique. The idea of a genie being enslaved to its wish maker (master) is one I had never really given much thought to, usually assuming the genie doesn’t mind granting wishes. But duh! Of course the genie would hate being entrapped by someone else even if that someone else treats you like a princess giving you all the material things you’d want.

Nalia’s backstory, which unfolds as the story progresses, also opens up the door to a world entirely separate from our own. Most of Exquisite Captive takes place in our contemporary world, but with Nalia’s back story we learn more about the Dark Caravan and the home she has left behind. I’m excited at the prospect of exploring the world of Arjinna as the series continues as well.

One thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the love triangle between Nalia, Malek, and Raif. I have to admit we’re not given much to ship in this love triangle. Malek, Nalia’s sometimes kind, sometimes cruel master is incredibly confusing in his behavior and treatment of Nalia, while Raif is pretty boring. This causes me to feel conflicted over who I should be cheering on! Malek is a mean, although good-looking, slave owner and Raif is a boring, also good-looking, jinni rebel. Honestly I think I’m leaning towards Malek – at least he’s interesting!

Conflicting love triangle aside, I do have mostly positive feelings toward Exquisite Captive. The story is interesting and unique and I will mostly likely pick up book two, Blood Passage, when it releases later this year. In the end I believe that Exquisite Captive would be best enjoyed by paranormal romance fans (it feels more like paranormal romance than fantasy) would enjoy this read!

Details

Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Balzer+Bray (October 7, 2014)
Format: Audiobook
Length: 13 hours and 44 minutes
Series: First in a series
YA/MG: YA

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Not a Lot of Follow Through: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Hi there everyone!

So, I’ve let a few weeks fly by with no book reviews…but hey it is what it is. :)

And now I’m back with a review for The Art of Wishing, a debut by author Lindsay Ribar.

Guys. This was a DNF book for me. I did not finish it.

So, those of you who’ve been following BookTasty for a little while probably know that I absolutely HATE not finishing a The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribarbook. I’ve finished some pretty poorly written stuff in the name of finishing.  But I had an epiphany recently and I just made up my mind to not finish this one.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else’s hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie — he’s also a sophomore at Margo’s high school, and he’s on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him. A whole lot more.

I had been really excited for The Art of Wishing since I first signed up for the 2013 Debut Authors Challenge. The book’s summary sounded fun and it seemed to have a lot of potential – “A genie! Cool! I haven’t read a book about a genie before!” Plus I thought the cover was adorable.

But in the end (well actually around 70% of the way through) I just realized that I wasn’t enjoying this book.  The writing felt somewhat disjointed and I had a difficult time keeping my attention on the story. I’d start reading only to find myself putting my Kindle down after only two or three pages because something else seemed more interesting. I just wasn’t invested in any of the characters and there wasn’t anything captivating about the story that made me want to keep reading.

I did like Margo at first. I thought she was interesting because she wasn’t your average YA female character who hasn’t yet realized her strengths. Margo knows she an awesome singer and actress. She is very aware of her strengths in an almost cocky way.  This made her fascinating for a while, but then she slowly began to lose the interest factor for me.

The romantic relationship between Oliver and Margo also seemed too easy. These two fall in love almost overnight, which was pretty hard to believe. I also don’t understand why a smart, talented girl like Margo fell so quickly for a guy who continues to keep information from her.  I mean come on! It’s not until more than halfway through the story when Oliver decided to tell Margo about a significantly important piece of information that she could have used A LOT sooner. She already knows you’re a genie dude…nothing else is going to shock her. Just fill her in!

So, although I was so sad to add another book to my small DNF pile, I had to do so with The Art of Wishing. I just realized that it was taking me forever to read and that there were other books I’d like to spend my time on. There was a lot of potential with not a lot of follow through.

All in all, I know for a fact that my students would enjoy this book, but it just wasn’t for me at all.

Author: Lindsay Ribar

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (March 21, 2013)

Format: e-book (ARC)

Length: 314 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  The Art of Wishing

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Art of Wishing

Hi there!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine!  Every week book bloggers put the spotlight on an upcoming book they’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I’m looking way into the future at a book scheduled to be released in March 2013 by Dial Books for Young Readers.  The Art of Wishing by Lindsay RibarThe Art of Wishing, a debut by Lindsay Ribar sounds like a pretty fun fantasy/contemporary read!

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Especially since Oliver–not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless–can see more than what she’s willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn’t know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo’s ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him–someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him. A whole lot more.

I love the whole genie-three wishes premise sounds refreshingly fun! Also, that cover is so cute! All in all, The Art of Wishing just sounds like a light-hearted  romance that I’m in the mood for.  If only it was March 2013!