Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A CERTAIN SORT OF MADNESS // review ft. aesthetic collages!

Oh look, it's Chandler! That naughty monkey crawled into my blog graphic while I wasn't looking. *is indignant*

Book reviews are waaaay less popular than other types of posts. At least, that's how it is on my blog and what I seem to notice on lots of others. I don't really have a right to criticize this when I myself will often pass over a book review post in my Blogger feed, especially if it's a book I'm not interested in or have never heard of. But it's still kind of sad?? I shall try to change my ways. :P After all, how else am I supposed to find new books for my TBR if I'm not reading reviews? My TBR list is always in DESPERATE need of more books, don't you know.

So anyway, for those of you who are actually reading this, I'm trying to spice things up a little bit! First of all, there's a monkey on my blog graphic. Not something you see every day. (Chandler is a character in the book I'm about to review, so his unprecedented appearance is relevant). Secondly, I made some AESTHETIC COLLAGES. We always make collages for our WIPs, but I don't often see collages for other books, so I thought... why not?? Besides, when I got this idea I had recently discovered the Pinterest board for this particular book and it is AMAZING.

I hope you enjoy reading all my flaily thoughts! (Yep, it's a five-star book, so... you've been warned.)


Insanity is catching…
Alicia Hareton is crazy. But that’s nothing new. Her insanity is inherited from her mother, just like her magical abilities and her blood ties to the strange and alluring world of Amar. She’s spent her life on Earth and yet Amar has always called to her, an intoxicating melody that she cannot ignore. Returning to Amar would put her life in danger, but Alicia has never let such technicalities stop her before.

However, when her mother is captured due to her reckless actions, Alicia will do anything to rescue her. That includes trusting her grumpy, sarcastic imaginary friend, who claims he doesn’t know her and doesn’t seem that imaginary anymore. Or that trustworthy. Together, with the help of her cousin and a band of misfits, they partake in an extremely ill-advised heist on the faerie court in order to find a way to defeat the most powerful mage in all Amar, who also happens to be Alicia’s grandfather. But not everything in the faerie court is as it seems, and soon this unlikely group find themselves fighting for their lives as well as the lives of those they love.

In a world of madness and magic, the lines between lies and loyalty are blurred and sometimes the only option you have left is to let the insanity loose.

See more about A Certain Sort of Madness on Goodreads HERE.


First things first...

Disclaimer #1: All pics in the collages below were found on Nicki Chapelway's Pinterest board, so I can't take credit for having found them all on my own. XD Srsly, guys, check out her board - it is GORGEOUS. (Feel free to follow her and love on alllll her amazing book aesthetics while you're at it. ;D I can't get enough of her My Time in Amar boards! *heart eyes*) 

Disclaimer #2: As aforementioned, I found the pics in the collages below on Pinterest. They are NOT mine. All credit goes to their original creators. Their sources can be found by locating the pictures via Nicki's board HERE.


So. A Certain Sort of Madness. Nicki Chapelway is a friend of mine, but I can assure you that this book hasn't received a glowing five-star rating just because of that. It can be easier than we realize to be biased in this way, but when I think about the characters, plot, setting, and other aspects of this fantasy story, I can't imagine giving it any less than five stars. I couldn't be more sincere in this: I found this novel to be AMAZING.

It's always a good sign when everything about the first few pages - the mood, the style, the main character - sucks me in and makes me feel like I'm THERE. The first few scenes took my breath away and already had my mind reeling like, I wanna keep reading. I wanna. keep. READING.

Alicia as a protagonist intrigued me from page 1. So many YA female protagonists feel like almost-clones, but Alicia is so incredibly different. She brings a unique perspective to the table, one that fits the mood of the plot and the vibe of the setting absolutely PERFECTLY. And most intriguing of all is that she's not all there. ;)

*see disclaimers above*

One smol gem I was delighted to encounter was how well-executed the respective POVs of Alicia and Olivia were. Their voices couldn't have been more distinct, and whenever the POVs swapped, each was like a breath of fresh air from the other. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed them both.

It's hard to talk about Dante because I legit FELL IN LOVE WITH THE GUY, s
o my brain sort of turns to mush when I try to formulate words about him. Suffice it to say that he's real and complex and soft and savage and quiet all rolled into one mysteriously attractive package. <333

In fact, ALL the characters are real and complex. Fun-loving Eugene wasn't just a blob of fun, like some comic relief characters can seem sometimes. He was funny, all right, but there are more layers to him than that. (He's like a puzzle trying very hard not to look like a puzzle. XD) Hector and Jane and Alicia's mother and even little Chandler... everyone had a fascinating edge to them.

As for the setting (I'm mostly talking about the fairy court here), it was descriptive enough for me to be able to picture it but vague enough that I had to wonder what exactly I was picturing. Which was an odd but also REALLY cool feeling! In short, the setting was a weird sort of aesthetic that I loved.

The plot was solid, sprinkled with clever twists that gave me metaphorical whiplash. XD Gotta love a delicious or devastating surprise, and A Certain Sort of Madness was full of such surprises.

The romance turned my heart inside out and had me SWOONING. *pause* Well, grinning like an idiot. The ships are just perfect. <3

It was just so, so, SO well-done in every way. The only negative thing I can say is that there were quite a few typos, but I did read an ARC, so the book wasn't in its final form. I expect that a lot of the typos were cleaned up before publication.

And as for the ending, all I dare say is that it stomped on my heart. I cannot WAIT for book 2.


So, does this book sound good to you? I assure you it is, especially for fans of fantasy that has dangerous heists and mischievous thieves and evil fairies. Comment below what you think about book review posts and - if you've read it - what YOU think of A Certain Sort of Madness!

The Lord's Truly,