Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

20877228 Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: September 9, 2014 by HarperTeen
Length: 288 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn, who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status . . . and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, and the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess them. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits, can stop him.


Illusions of Fate started off with a bang! Honestly guys, I’m surprised Kiersten White wrote this book. I wasn’t a fan of her duology (Mind Games) and when I saw the author’s name on the book I was like NO WAY THIS IS SO GOOD.

I love how the first few chapters were very mysterious, dark, and intriguing. I really loved the writing which reminded me of Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices trilogy. It had a historical feel to it even though this is a fantasy book. It does have magical elements that I wish we got to see more of. I don’t think the magical part were explained clearly enough for me to be amazed by it.

 The main character, Jessamin, also reminded me of Tessa from TID because they both were determined, headstrong, and kind of a brat at times. Finn, the love interest, was very intriguing especially during the first chapter. I think he’s the reason why I kept on reading. I wanted to get to know more of him and why he was following Jessamin. Sadly, he remains mysterious throughout the book and I only got to know a snippet of his life.

Unfortunately, I did have some issues with Illusions of Fate. The book became a bit confusing towards the middle due to the characters’ actions. After finishing the book, I was still looking for answers which is not good since this is a standalone book. I really wanted to give this 4 stars but I can’t because of my unanswered questions. Also, I think the world building was confusing as hell. The descriptions are very vague and I assumed that the MC did not know anything about magic, but I guess she does because when her love interest said he had magic, she doesn’t seem surprised. The romance was weird because Jessamin and Finn are strangers to each other, but Jessamin trusted Finn too quickly then next thing you know they fell “in love” with each other?!

Overall it was still a very good read. I just hope some stuff were clearer in the book so that I was able to enjoy it more. I still recommend it if you are a fan of Cassandra Clare’s writing.

3.5 of 5

Review: How We Fall by Kate Brauning

21865261 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: November 1, 2014 by Merit Press
Length: 303 pages
Source: author (ARC)

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting way too much–and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can’t control, and he’s the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for…no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn’t right about this stranger, and Jackie’s suspicions about the new girl’s secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus–and deepens Jackie’s despair.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else’s lies as the mystery around Ellie’s disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?”


This is my first time reading a book about cousins falling in love with each other so How We Fall definitely kept me on my toes. What I liked about How We Fall is that not only does it have intriguing romance, but it also has mystery/suspense that I wish came sooner. It was an interesting read since you’re dying to know what’s going to happen with these 2 cousins (Jackie and Marcus).

I thought the characters were great. The author, Kate Brauning did an awesome job elaborating the characters and what they do in their daily lives. I connected with Marcus and Jackie because I have faced some of their problems that they had in this book (i.e. babysitting siblings, doing chores, going home late + have to deal with grumpy parents). Just the way the characters acted and made decisions were very realistic. Sometimes I could see myself in them which is good.

Like I said, there IS a bit of mystery thrown halfway into the book which I liked, but I wish most of the suspense/mystery part weren’t thrown literally at the end of the book. It’s like the author sprinkled a little bit of mystery here and there during half of the book more or less, then sprinkled mystery everywhere towards the end. I guess what I’m trying to say is it wasn’t balanced.

The romance was very intriguing and the reason why I kept reading. I just wanted to see if Jackie and Marcus would end up together at the end or not! I also like the message that this book sends which is screw what society thinks. I think the reason why our world is f’d up sometimes is because of society and normality. Overall I highly recommend you to read How We Fall if you’re up for intriguing romance, family + friendship, and suspense.

4 of 5

Review: Adrift by Paul Griffin

23743718 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: July 28, 2015 by Scholastic
Length: 240 pages
Source: Scholastic (ARC)

“From critically acclaimed writer Paul Griffin comes a fast-paced young adult novel about five very different teens lost at sea with no one to count on but each other.

Matt and John are best friends working out in Montauk for the summer.  When Driana, JoJo and Stef invite the boys to their Hamptons mansion, Matt and John find themselves in a sticky situation where temptation rivals sensibility.  The newfound friends head out into the Atlantic after midnight in a stolen boat.  None of them come back whole, and not all of them come back.”


This book reminds me one of those boring survival movies that you keep on watching just to see if the ending has some kind of twist. Turns out, there’s no twist and you end up hating the movie even more *sobs*. Adrift just did not work for me. I was hoping for an action packed book filled with adventures, but the characters just made stupid decisions. The characters all sound the same – flat. I’m glad the author didn’t choose to write this book in multiple POV because that would’ve made this book confusing.

Two of the main characters, Matt and John, are best friends but I could not see that at all throughout the story. They acted more like an acquaintance instead of bros. I think out of all the characters, John stood out the most. I like how he’s very straightforward and different from the rest of the characters. He has a quality of a leader and has a dark past. Also, I don’t understand why they would go out in the ocean in the middle of the night with people they’re only acquaintance with. Like DUDE, no. Just, no.

I think the writing style is what made this book boring. The author was doing a lot of TELLING than SHOWING. Often, when characters spoke, the author would end it with “he/she said”. For example, one of the characters would say “Oh I’m so tired”, he said…instead of “Oh I’m so tired”, he panted. It’s all “he said/she said”. I wish he showed us what the character was doing or feeling.

There’s also insta love and I’m just like WHY. You’re stuck in Atlantic Ocean for crying out loud! Instalove actually works for some plots, but this one it just looks ridiculous. I wouldn’t recommend you putting this on top of your TBR books unless you’re looking for a book to help you fall asleep. Jk. I actually read this book in 1 day but that’s because I was dying to finish it so I can start on a new book. Oops.

Well hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by. Little Book Star is a young adult book blog ran by Leigh, an 18 year old avid reader. This blog consists of book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, and more! Feel free to explore!

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