Backlist Treasures: Three Dark Crowns, Edenbrooke, and Paper Chains (Mini Reviews)

by - Tuesday, June 04, 2019

In which I finally read three books that have been sitting on my shelf for FOREVER--and I should have started them sooner because they were so good. But I finally quit procrastinating and here are my thoughts!

Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: YA Fantasy

This book--and this series, really--has been hyped up like crazy! I picked this book up at my local secondhand bookstore because of the hype, and thank goodness I wasn't disappointed!

I was really scared I was going to be disappointed, however, because the first 100 pages are rough. The first chapter is incredibly suspenseful, but the following chapters are not quite as awesome. It didn't help that the second chapter introduces a character whose purpose is not clear in the story (basically she's not one of the three queens). Within the first 100 after these intro chapters is a lot of world building, some slow moving politics, and buds of romance and drama.

I really wanted to get into the drama of the three queens getting at each other's throats...and I'll warn you now, that doesn't happen in this book. There's a little bit of that, but this book is a big set up for the queens' competition. From the synopsis, I didn't realize that. It did bum me out a bit that I had to wait for the second book for that, but I quickly got over it once I dug into the meat of the story, after the first 100 pages.

The pay off is SO worth it, let me tell you. There's so much build up and just amazed me. And even though this was a slower-moving book than I expected, I appreciated how Kendare Blake fleshed out the characters. They are everything in this book. By the end, I couldn't figure out who I wanted to cheer on more (okay, probably Katharine...). And the ending....ugh. Twist after twist after twist. It was beautiful.

Yes, the beginning is slow, but if you're willing to be patient, this book is worth the beginning slog. It's fantastic. I can't wait to read One Dark Throne.

Author: Julianne Donaldson
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Genres: Regency Romance
What a ride this book was! I was not expecting much from this book despite the high praise it has received from my friends and family. I have a not-so-great history with regency novels--mostly I find them boring and tedious. (But I'm starting to realize that might be the YA books I've read in the past...but that doesn't make sense because Sorcery and Cecelia is one of my all-time favorites! I dunno).

Despite my doubts, however, I could not stop laughing from the very first page. Marianne is such a likeable, fun character and I was on her side from the very beginning. Plus, all the shenanigans that she and the other characters go through is just creative and fun. I could not put this down, and, really, I refused to until I had finished.

Have I really not mentioned the romance yet? It's perfect. The love interest is so swoon-worthy it kills me. I really adored this book and my faith in regency romances has been restored.

 Title: Paper Chains
Author: Elaine Vickers
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genres: MG Contemporary

Oh my heart. What a wonderful, beautiful book this is.

Paper Chains is a story of friendship and family, and how being honest to our loved ones can really bring out the best in ourselves. It follows best friends Katie and Ana who are dealing with a lot of struggles at home. Katie was adopted and wants to know more about her birth parents, and Ana's father left his family for his hockey career. Both situations are heart wrenching and Vickers's writing really brings that out.

This book doesn't balk at the hard, sad, realistic situations of these girls, but it also has a sense of hope through it all. I loved every second and definitely recommend it.

What are some backlist treasures you've read recently?

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  1. Oh yay, so glad that these were such wins for you! I really enjoyed Three Dark Crowns, it'll be interesting to see how the story wraps up for sure! And I'll definitely need to get Paper Chains to read with my daughter, sounds like something we'd love! As for a backlist I have read and loved lately... I am embarrassed to admit that I haven't read *any* books that are very backlist- no more than a year, probably. Which is unfortunate because I have SO many that I am really needing to get to!

    1. It's SO hard to find time to read backlist--I just had a lucky break last month :D. I hope you and your daughter enjoy Paper Chains!

  2. Three Dark Crowns is a huge favorite for me. I wrote a spoiler-filled discussion where I analyzed the book and made predictions for what might happen next, and it's the most popular post ever on my blog by a MILE! If you want to check it out (and tell me your predictions), you can find it HERE. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  3. Wonderful reviews, and I am so glad you are joining in the backlist love! I really appreciated your review of Three Dark Crowns a lot - that is a book I keep considering but haven't gotten around to picking up. I'll probably struggle like you did, but it is good to know it picks up after 100 pages.

    1. I'm glad I could join! I definitely think 3DC is worth it after that point--it surprised me to think so, but I'm glad I pushed through :D