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Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
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Illusions of Fate

by Kiersten White

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This title was recommended to me as "Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series" and it certainly lives up to the comparison. Jessamin travels to the aristocratic country of Albion in pursuit of an education. As an islander from the nearby country of Melei, she is considered a lower caste than the fair-skinned residents of Albion, and works as a servant in an area hotel for room and board. When Jessamin attracts the attention of the handsome Lord Finn Ackley, her life takes a dramatic and magical turn. Suddenly Jessamin is thrown into a world full of secret spells, birds that can transform into books, and the diabolical plotting of an evil tyrant, Lord Downpike. The fantasy element works surprisingly well with the early 20th century Downton Abbey-inspired setting, and White's descriptive writing and exciting characters make this book a must-read for YA fantasy fans.

Kathleen K. / Marathon County Public Library
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( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |


(my brain says 3.5 stars but my heart says 4 stars. 4 stars it is.)

Illusions of Fate is a book that epitomizes the phrase "short and sweet." It may not be epic or devastating or unprecedented, but it still manages to be amusing, funny, and charming as hell.

First, I'll get some of the qualms I had with this book out of the way. The beginning and end of Illusions of Fate were not the best. The beginning irked me a little bit, especially because the relationship between the protagonist and the love interest was moving too fast. I was starting to get some instalove vibes and consequently started to panic. This wasn't as much of an issue once I got to the meat of the book, though. At that point, the character dynamics solidified and I was honestly enjoying them too much to be the least bit annoyed or critical. Did Finn and Jessamin get to know each other too fast? Probably. Did I care? Not really.

Now, to the ending. The ending was super rushed. There's no way around it. But strangely enough, I didn't mind. Objectively speaking, the conflict was resolved too quickly and too easily to feel climactic or tense. But, again, it didn't bother me because I didn't read this book for an intricate or action-packed plot. I read it for cute, lively character dynamics and some light magical elements, and that's exactly what I got. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't compare Illusions of Fate to, say, the Mistborn Trilogy because they're two completely different books that aim to achieve two completely different things.

Onto what I loved about this book, of which there is plenty! First and foremost, the character dynamics. I am a sucker for books with quippy dialogue and let me tell you, Jessamin, Finn and Eleanor were basically The Quippy Dialogue Squad. Needless to say, I loved them all.

Let's talk about Jessamin. Jessamin is headstrong and stubborn, but unlike so many YA protagonists these days, she talks the talk and walks the walk. Yes Jessamin does whatever she wants, but she also acknowledges that her decisions actually affect other people, people who can't help but be caught in the crossfire of her decisions. When it comes to characters who are supposed to be like Jessamin, I don't want a character that wears "stubborn" as a name tag. I want a character who is truly stubborn, but who can also grapple with what that stubbornness may mean. And Jessamin is exactly that character. And, y'know, she's also funny, curious, smart, and endearing. Her character may seem overdone or tired, but Kiersten White manages to make her characterization precisely hit its mark.

Then we have Finn, sweet, precious Finn. Finn tries so hard to be all aloof and reserved, and yet so much of the time he's just fumbling in the dark. He's pragmatic and also smart, so no wonder he and Jessamin make an excellent pairing. And what an adorable pairing they make. Not only is their relationship complete with entertaining banter, but Finn and Jessamin also firmly remain themselves in their relationship. Finn never tries to reign Jessamin in and gives her the space to be herself. He actually listens to her, and she listens to him, and if there's one thing I love in relationships, it's R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

And lastly, we have Eleanor. Eleanor is a FREAKING GEM. She's my kinda character. She may seem like a vapid gossip, but that's exactly what she wants you to think. In actuality, she's quick-witted, tactical and oh so amusing. She's a character whose presence just fills up whatever scene she's in. Ah, Eleanor and her wonderful flair. Also, her friendship with Jessamin was fantastic. Are you telling me that this book had A) a female friendship that B) was completely free of tension and needless hate and C) was also fun, funny, and fresh? How about a HELL YEAH?



(Also there's a crow in this book called Sir Bird and you will fall in love with him. I never thought I'd be emotional over a crow, but here we are.)

I know that I've already gushed a lot about this book, but there are some other little things that I also loved that I want to quickly mention. 1) Jessamin is a dark-skinned islander living in Albion, the country that colonized Melei, the island she's from. As a result, Jessamin has to deal with a lot of shitty racism and classism from the people of Albion. It's not what I thought would be in such a cute book, and it surprised me. 2) I loved that Jessamin actually gave a shit about her studies!!!! I appreciated the brief mentions of her actually studying and doing schoolwork. Shocking, I know. Sometimes it's little things like that that really hit home for me.

And so the gush comes to an end. I really loved this book, and I'm always glad to read something that's cutesy but also with some substance to it. I didn't think much of Illusions of Fate when I started it, but Kiersten White threw me in for a loop with her ever so lovable characters. ( )
  fatmashahin | Sep 23, 2017 |
4.5 stars. I loved this so much, everything was delightful. ( )
  eaduncan | Sep 14, 2017 |
When Jessamin Olea leaves her home county to attend a prestigious boarding school, she meets handsome, flirtatious nobleman Finn, and finds herself in an uncanny world not only of fancy gowns and money, but also magic, danger, and enemies.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Jun 8, 2017 |
A un anno dall’uscita del brioso e divertente Paranormalmente ecco che la GiuntiY porta finalmente nelle nostre librerie il secondo volume di questa trilogia young adult urban fantasy “Paranormalcy Series” di Kiersten White: Caccia alle Fate.

Nel primo romanzo abbiamo conosciuto Evie, ragazza soprannaturale (o paranormale? O qualcosa di più?) che, grazie alla sua capacità innata di vedere oltre il glamour delle creature magiche, è sempre stata una risorsa essenziale per l’Agenzia Internazionale per il Controllo del Paranormale. La giovane, infatti, era stata cresciuta nel Centro, non conoscendo quindi nessuna altra realtà se non quella creata per lei dai dirigenti.

Evie, nonostante ciò, ha sempre visto il Centro come la sua famiglia. Quando si ritroverà a mettere in discussione tutto il suo mondo e a salvare Preston, ragazzo paranormale catturato e tenuto in isolamento, si renderà conto piuttosto velocemente che la bolla rosa in cui era stata racchiusa fino a quel momento è destinata ad esplodere.

Nel corso del primo romanzo siamo venuti a conoscenza delle origini tutte particolari di Evie, dei suoi sentimenti contraddittori per l’ex fidanzato Reth (fata Seliee) e del suo amore per Preston. Oggi, con Caccia alle Fate, si riparte esattamente dalla fine di Paranormalmente e si mostra una Evie inquieta e un po’ dubbiosa, alle prese con la “normalità” in passato tanto agognata.

Scuola e lavoro sembrano andare decisamente stretti a Evie che, quando le si presenta l’occasione di tornare a collaborare - a condizioni ben precise - per il Centro, non tarda ad accettare, arrivando perfino a mentire al suo ragazzo, il protettivo Preston.
Perché Preston non riesce a comprendere le ragioni di Evie: lei avverte il bisogno di sentirsi "necessaria" per il mondo paranormale in modo “diverso” dal ragazzo che, invece, preferisce andare al College e crearsi un futuro accademico sicuro per poter aiutare diplomaticamente la sua gente.

L’arrivo di Jack, strano ragazzo in grado di usare i portali fatati pur essendo umano, aiuterà a mettere scompigio nella vita amorosa di Evie, che si ritroverà a dover fare i conti anche con la gelosia di Preston nei confronti del giovane casinista.

Sarà così che, fra gli equivoci approcci di Reth, il passato di Evie che torna a bussare alla sua porta portando sconvolgenti e dolorose novità sulla sua nascita e Jack che continua a apparire come e quando vuole alimentando le ire di Preston, la ragazza si ritoverà, ben presto, a ridesiderare ardentemente un po’ di noiosissima “normalità”.

Anche questo secondo romanzo, come il primo, si presenta come una lettura leggera, frizzante e divertente; da leggere sotto un ombrellone (magari sforzandosi di non scoppiare a ridere a voce alta!) o al fresco di un bel ventilatore nei calienti pomeriggi estivi.
I personaggi sono più o meno sempre gli stessi, ad eccezione della new entry Jack; l’autrice questa volta sembra essersi concentrata più specificatamente sulla storia d’amore che sulla trama in sé.
Questa, infatti, benchè mostrandosi sempre molto ricca di colpi di scena soprattutto nella seconda metà del romanzo, sembra non avere la carica di adrenalina presente in Paranormalmente. I personaggi secondari sono stati lasciati un po’ a se stessi, mentre Evie e Preston vengono curati con maggior attenzione rispetto al precedente romanzo.
Scene d’azione non mancheranno, come il romanticismo e le scene drammatiche, soprattutto quando Evie verrà a conoscenza delle sue vere origini.
Piuttosto scontata, alla fine, la scoperta del fantomatico persecutore di Evie mentre, purtroppo, viene lasciato ancora avvolto nel mistero il caro e vecchio Reth.

Il triangolo amoroso, effettivo o potenziale a secondo dei gusti e delle speranze delle lettrici, fra Evie, Preston e Reth è ancora in fase di completo stallo, mentre i lettori, volgendo l’attenzione alla trama, si chiedono dove andrà a parare l’autrice nel terzo ed ultimo romanzo della trilogia.

Molto carina la copertina scelta dalla GiuntiY mentre, questa volta, un voto inferiore va alla traduzione che si è dimostrata più scarsa rispetto al precedente romanzo, purtroppo. ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
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An outcast since moving from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion, Jessamin meets the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn who introduces her to the secret world of Albion's nobility--a world of power, money, status, and magic--but Finn has a powerful enemy who only Jessamin can stop.… (more)

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