Tamar by Mal Preet

Tamar by Mal Preet 

Age Rating: 14+

Rating: 10/10 

            There are some books that draw you into a world that feels so real that you can’t question anything, because you’re being pulled so relentlessly into it. That’s exactly how I felt about Tamar, which takes creative license in describing the Nazi occupation of Holland and the allied effort. 

            This story centers around British spies who are helping the resistance and are supposed to relay information back to London about Nazi happenings. Moreso they are supposed to integrate themselves into the scene so they can also help when Holland is finally won over by the Allied war effort. 

            However, it is wrong to say that this centers around the time, because it actually created this beautiful backdrop for the characters to develop and describes what the British spies really went through, addiction, paranoia, and being bored (!) I finished this book in one go, I couldn’t sleep because I just had to finish it. It feels so real, and the author doesn’t hold back on the horrible things the Nazis did, the simple brutalities of every day life, and what’s even better, is that all these mad things that happen just become part of the story, and they don’t feel created because they just fit so seamlessly. Like the marionette shop that also serves as a base for transmissions. It’s beautiful, how Mal Preet manages to create a whole world, genuinely impressing. 

            The ending is so jarring, but it almost makes sense, because its so real. I feel like I’m trying to say the word real in different ways,  because there’s no better way to describe this story. Maybe because it centers around a time that includes something as tragic as the holocaust and the German occupation of Holland, but also the way that each character is multidimensional, though the main characters still remain Tamar and Dart, the English spies who are sent to Holland. 

            Though this does in a way, center around the romance between Tamar and Maarjke, who also hosts the spy, it’s definitely not a romance novel. It is and it isn’t. And when you get to the end, you finally realize everything and understand why each character acted the way they did. It doesn’t have a happy ending depending on what you think. This book makes you rethink the ideals of romance and instead opens you up to the possibility of just life being so real and unrelenting, but also the neutrality of life and its struggles. 

            I think if you enjoy historical fiction, it is very accurate especially in the procedures and the coding of transmissions the author references. I do not recommend this awesome book for people who don’t enjoy possibly sad books. 

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREE WITH WHAT I SAID, AND IF YOU ENJOY THIS BOOK AS WELL. 

**PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THERE ARE SPECIFIC BOOKS YOU’D LIKE ME TO REVIEW 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 10/10 

Age: 16+

This book was the most riveting, brutal, and real YA I’ve come across in a while. I am actually shocked it’s not more popular! 

What makes a good YA are adult themes that truly express what teenagers are capable of feeling. And I’m not just talking about sexuality, but emotional depth.

This book tells the sordid tale of a young girl in another world where faeries exist. Feyre Archeron is forced to hunt because her family has no money or food, and her dad is disabled and desolate. Her sisters don’t help either. Unfortunately, she kills a grey wolf that turns out to be a faerie and as a result, this faerie High Lord demands Feyre as retribution as demanded by a treaty regarding human-faerie interaction. 

This is a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and by loose, I mean extremely loose. She obviously falls in love with him, but what she doesn’t know, is that everybody’s powers have been stripped in the faerie realm. The remaining faeries maintain a very loose hold on magic, whilst nightmares roam the forests, sent by the evil faerie intent on torturing everyone.

KINDA SPOILER ALERT* Read past the first book to find out why it’s not a Beauty and the Beast retelling. 😉

What makes this book jarring is the explicit brutality and real life parallelism drawn. That’s why the age is pretty high. I don’t want to go into details, because I HATE BOOK SPOILERS! But the journey this girl goes on IS INTENSE! The world created by this author is STUNNING! Not similar to anything I’ve encountered, and it was definitely a fresh take on the binary concept of good and evil, and it circumvented the concept by managing to create truly multi-dimensional characters. 

I recommend this book for both genders, there is a strong theme of romance, but a mature one that isn’t about appealing to teenage girls, even though it may seem like that at first. 

Without a doubt, if you read the first book, you’re going to read the second book!

I finished this series in 2 days because it was so amazing, I borrowed it from my library but it is also available on Amazon Kindle! 

***KINDLE HACK, YOU CAN RETURN BOOKS WITHIN 7 DAYS FOR A REFUND 

Book Series Order 

A Court of Thorns and Roses 

A Court of Mist and Fury 

A Court of Wings and Ruin 

A Court of Frost and Starlight