Woah, it's been a while!
Like half a year while...
I wanted to get back into writing my book reviews at the end of the spring, but during the summer and over the fall the only books I got to reading were for school-- and I like to keep this blog exclusively to books I read for fun. One, because reading for school can make me a little more biased toward liking or disliking a book, and two, because I never know if I'll write a book I need to write and I don't want to write something in my paper that's also said here. Not that it would be written the same-- I don't write like this in my papers. I'm having a conversation with you now-- I don't have conversations in my college papers, as should none of you once you start writing college papers. ^^
Anyhoo~ Aside from reading less than a sixth of the amount of books that I read last year, I've become very interested in learning Korean and while I only started studying in the past couple weeks, I did watch a lot of dramas and they can take up a lot of free time. ^^
Unfortunately, I was suffering under a prolonged and unexpectedly extended book slump-- starting near if not over ten books and dropping them all around the 100 page mark. So, I felt that reading a fantasy might help me get back into reading a lot again and thankfully I was able to finish this one. Three cheers, hip hip hurray~~
But enough about me in the past 6 months, let's get on with this review!
This is Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen, and the synopsis is provided by Goodreads:
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
Hmmm, this was so long ago I heard about this book I'm just going to say a person I follow on Goodreads. First off the cover was really pretty, but then it said something about trolls in the synopsis which I've never read about, so naturally, I became very interested.
(safe for those who haven't read this yet)
Cécile has a bright future ahead because of her voice-- however it all comes to an end when she is kidnapped just before she makes her debut on the stage. She's kidnapped and taken to a hidden troll kingdom believed to be a an ancient myth. Awesome!
She sees the trolls and like their name suggests, they're ugly. Uniquely enough, all deformed and misshaped in their own ways. All ugly, except the one she's supposed to be given to. Alright, losing some of its awesomeness.
Cécile was a character that annoyed me by her clichés and her precarious and ambivalent and roller coaster of emotions. She felt one way and then a second later she felt the exact opposite. Mmhmm, she got on my nerves-- and maybe it was because I enjoyed the concept of trolls and magic that I forgave the author for it.
What probably gave me so much enjoyment reading this was because the concept was new and different. Maybe I'm just unaware of any other troll books, but I like having these creatures as the focus of the story instead as side monsters.
Hmm, the magic was interesting as Jensen described it, but I wish there was a little more to her descriptions or back story to the magic. She explained the magic once and that was it. It may not bother other people-- but I felt Cécile accepted it too easily. At this time, magic isn't as common in the world aside from witches which are a rare find. Actually, thinking back on it, Cécile accepted a lot of things way too easily. I won't go into specifics to not reveal any spoliers, but she accepted things easily not only in the beginning, but throughout the book. Mmhmm, yeah I thought it was weird and sort of stereotypical of female young adult protagonists.
What stood out for me was as I was finishing the book, I began to notice how Jensen didn't seem to concentrate on a clear plot. Not that there lacks any-- however what Jensen outlines at the beginning that the reader would assume to be the focus of the story, transforms instead to a subplot. The story instead focuses on the relationship between Cécile and her troll prince husband, Tristan, as it grows and how they bond.
Tristan doesn't bare any remarkable or unique qualities that differs from the typical love interest, although I praise the lord that there is no love triangle here. I hope Jensen doesn't form one in the next book or even the last book, but no love triangles are definitely welcome in my book.
Jensen's writing isn't unqiue, remarkable, or awe-inspiring, but I don't care as much about judging one's writing as I do judging how often they implement clichés. Dear lord they were everywhere. Alright, I exaggerate a little bit, there were just too many for my taste. But, as I said, as long as the writing isn't obviously awkward and the plot/characters/story is intriguing, the writing doesn't matter half as much. Writing is entirely subjective and I don't like when people get pretentious by saying that a writer's style is childish or lacks technique. Jensen wants to tell a story-- not become a revolutionary writer-- and that's okay.
Judging amongst other young adult books, I liked how trolls were the creatures of this story. Although I will say that if perhaps trolls were the trends instead of vampires or werewolves, I don't know if I would find anything specifically exceptional in Stolen Songbird.
However, if the plot intrigues you even if just a little bit, I say give it a read!
I give this book 4/5 stars.
“Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up ’cause they’re looking for ideas.”
― Paula Poundstone
Next to Read:
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Until Next Time,