December 1, 2014

Abbreviations #1 | Saving Francesca, Silver Bay + The Blood of Olympus

Please check out these three mini-reviews! One is for an Australian YA contemporary by one of my favorite Aussie authors; another is for an adult contemporary by an author a lot of my friends love; and the third is for the finale to a series penned by an author I absolutely love. Hope you enjoy these brief thoughts on each.

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 9, 2006
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

The thing about Melina Marchetta’s writing is that there always comes a point in her novels where it’s easy to get swept up in the cadence of her words, the subtlety of her tone, the complexity of her characters. Saving Francesca is actually, for me, the easiest of her novels to get deeply invested in (so far, considering I’ve only read Jellicoe Road and The Lumatere Chronicles). There’s something about the combination of the facts being laid out so straightforwardly, and these characters being so easily known – it really works. Simple plot, but Marchetta words it in a way that hits surprisingly hard in the feels. I just tore through the pages, completely engrossed in discovering what would happen to Francesca and her friends! Saving Francesca has definitely further cemented my Marchetta love, and it’s a novel I’d recommend to just about everyone.

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

While it does start out slow, don’t let Silver Bay fool you. There’s a story both engaging and emotional in the pages of this novel, and really, it’s the kind of tale that won’t let you look away till the very end. Moyes’ writing is, as it was in Me Before You, just so good. The steady flow of words forms the reader’s impression of the setting and the characters genuinely well; these same words reel readers into a story fraught with complications and emotions both good and bad. It was so easy to care about these characters, particularly the four main ones: curious, clever Hannah; complicated, cautious Liza; strategic, serious Mike; warm, welcoming Kathleen. Moyes works her magic, inviting readers to fall in love with everything about this story. And fall I did, as Silver Bay, once I’d passed a certain number of pages, kept me up until 3AM in the hopes of discovering everyone’s fate. It might only be my second Moyes novel, but it’s definitely a sound recommendation to continue immersing myself in her body of work.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #5
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) AND Bought || Hardcover

While I’ve given every single book of The Heroes of Olympus series a full review on the blog (see here, here, here and here), it just seems like a Sisyphean task to try and capture exactly the exact essence of The Blood of Olympus. Riordan revisits of the world of his Greek and Roman demigods one last time, bringing the epic adventure that began in The Lost Hero to a close. As a huge fan of Riordan’s body of work (seriously, I’ve read it all), I certainly had some big expectations for how this particular series (my favorite of all of them) was going to end. Riordan nails it! He brings out the best in all of these familiar characters that I love, particularly our main demigods embroiled in this mess: Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Frank, Hazel, Leo, Nico and Reyna. And the way everything plays out? Flawless. I went through the entire spectrum of emotions as I kept turning pages in an effort to find out how it all went down – and it was so worth it. Personally, my favorite thing about this book? It made me laugh a lot. There were just so many great quips and one liners, and they were totally spot on. Basically, what I’m trying to say is The Blood of Olympus was just the right ending for this epic series – and if you haven’t read this series, or any Riordan book at all, I suggest you start right now.


  1. Great reviews, Alexa! I haven't read any of the books you reviewed but I'll be adding it to my TBR. :)

  2. I definitely started reading SAVING FRANCESCA with a friend shortly after reading this post. I just love everything Marchetta writes. I hope to pick up SILVER BAY soon--I really enjoyed ME BEFORE YOU!


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