I have a lot of conflicted feelings about this one. I think I found it hard to look at it critically (and I do think that Ruin & Rising was an amazing book to end a wonderful fantasy series) and found myself judging everything by my own very subjective views of how I wanted the story to end. So bear that in mind when reading this. I’ll start with the things I adored. First of all, Genya’s story became one of my favorites in the whole series. I loved how strong she was despite what she’s done and what’s been done to her. Nikolai remains fabulous and I when this one thing happens to him, I wanted to rip the pages out of the book because he’s the most precious of all precious things and I love him and god marry me already. My main discontent with the novel stems from the fact that I don’t like Mal. At all. He was a jerk in Siege and Storm and though he acknowledges that, he still doesn’t bother to either understand or come to terms with Alina’s power. He hates that part of her, and I don’t understand how he can say he loves her when he’s choosing which parts to love. So while the novel ended the way I expected, I wasn’t precisely happy with it. But overall, I would still highly recommend this series.
I’ve been meaning to finish the series for a while. I decided to just binge-read the last two and I’m so glad I did. You just have to race through these books. There’s so much action and all the characters are so likable (if flawed). My favorite addition was Oliver, the demon Eleanor binds herself to. I loved their complex relationship and how it grows and changes as they learn more about each other. Grab the tissues, folks, because Strange and Ever After is sure to tug at your heartstrings. I was definitely crying at the end for so many reasons.
I LOVED this book. Almost immediately I fell in love. It reminded me of a summer Sarah Dessen novel. I loved all the characters and the relationships Emily develops and how she grows. But what I think makes this such a great novel is that I saw so much of myself in Emily. I totally get the feeling of being too scared to do something, of being the sidekick to the brighter friend. I think other readers will find Emily relatable too.