The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Review)

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Kindle Price: $9.68

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

In this deliciously creepy novel by the author of the critically acclaimed Cuckoo Song, the fruit of a magical tree uncovers dangerous truths.

It was not enough. All knowledge- any knowledge – called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.

Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot supress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into great danger – for where lies seduce, truths shatter…

My Review:

I neither condone nor enjoy dabbling in lying. I take honesty very seriously. But is it okay to lie when you are searching for the truth?

Say hello to Faith Sunderly, a young woman, around 15, who must answer that questions. She is stuck in a time where women are believed to not have the mental capacity to be clever. A time when Faith is mistakenly taught that it is wrong, unGodly even, for her to be interested in science and things that were deemed only appropriate for men. And yet, Faith is incredibly interested and I loved her completely and entirely. It didn’t take long for her to cease being a character and become a real person with emotional reactions. I was constantly impressed with how clever Faith was and her amazing intuition, often I was a step behind her as hints and clues were being revealed. After she finds the Lie Tree, she begins to contribute to develop into a character with depth that I have only rarely seen. Faith is a remarkable character and I am thoroughly pleased with her.

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Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.”

My Review:

I was drawn in by the title and I thought the cover was absolutely gorgeous, although I still do not understand why there is a crown of what appears to be barbed wire around her head. Even so, I definitely wanted to take a chance on Acne Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon. It took me about two hours to read and to describe it in two words it was ‘mellow’ and ‘adventurous.’

Sometimes in fantasy (or anything with adventure in general) books, there’s a constant urgency feeling. At least, that’s how it is for me. Even though my heart-rate might be steady and normal, my mind is tense, as if I’m wading through an ocean of suspense. And you know? That can be stressful. So I liked the mellow feeling that I got from, Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon (which is hereby shortened to AAOS).

Please welcome Allyson Takata to the stage. Allyson is in high-school and extremely insecure over the acne, later learned to be scales, on her face. She hasn’t had much adventure in her life farther than evading the bullies in her school and snatching hurtling objects out of the air before they can kiss her face.
I liked Allyson. She was intelligent, courageous, and tried her best to save people who she didn’t know. Many people are insecure about acne on their faces, so I found no fault in her applying makeup. The only fault I found in her was that she was disrespectful towards her mom. Rarely has my mom been wrong about things that matter and Allyson’s blatant lack of respect towards the only parent she’s ever known, the same parent who has no doubt been trying to protect her for years (which should have been obvious to Allyson after a while), was terrible. I won’t lie and say that Allyson not having many flaws bothered me since it didn’t. Because of the pace, there wasn’t time for meticulous character development, no matter how realistic it may be. There was still character development, but it wasn’t the kind that I’m usually writing about.

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