Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ARC Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Source: eARC via HarperTeen | Edelweiss
Pub Date: September 16, 2014
My rating: 4 of 5 stars :star :star :star :star

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had  a really fun time reading this book. It's one of those books that is far from perfect, yet the good is so much more splendid that I'm willing to forgive a lot of things have usually bother me. Does that make sense? No? Ok I'll try to explain a little better.

Illusions of Fate is a stand alone move that takes place in an alternate reality. The main character, Jessamin, is a student studying at a university in her father's country (he teachers at the university too, but ignores her). She blackmails her way in (yeah, she's spunky and awesome) and soon finds herself mixed up in a world of nobility and magic where the color of your skin is a distinct disadvantage. I liked Jessamin a lot. She's super smart, and I just love smart women. She is more clever than the men in the novel, including her crush Finn. You may know how rare it is for the girl to be smarter than the guy (in novels, in real life it happens all the time) or to not find the girl suddenly dumb in all subjects because she's falling In love. :L

Jessamin has a mastery of language and is great at mathematics even though she's not allowed to study it. I really liked her spirit, and the fact that she was alone in a new country just because she wanted to learn. She's plucky and sarcastic and stubborn, to a fault at times. The other characters were just as fun to read about. I loved Finn. He was charming and I am not embarrassed to admit I have a total crush on him. I like how he let Jessamin do what she wanted and take control of her own fate. I also really loved Eleanor. She was so much fun because of her gossip-loving personality. :O

Now to address the things I didn't really like. I am mad this is a stand alone novel. It should've, could've EASILY been a series, or at least two books. See, so much went into the history, world building, and culture, and it seemed that other things were just so rushed. It's like the book could've been fleshed out more, and as it is it felt rushed and too short. Is this because I wanted to spend more time in Jessamin's world? Partly, and partly because when I read so much and finally understand and get the feel for the books setting, it sucks to have it end shortly after. The ending ended a little too perfectly, although I couldn't be happier for what actually did happen. Again, if the books pacing would've been a bit more balanced I think the author would've had to make this two separate books. Things could've been explained more at the end, with what happens to Finn.

But this is one of those books I couldn't put it down, and I loved every minute of it. So for that reason, I'm willing to forgive the error of making the a stand alone and am now pushing up the authors other books higher on my TBR. I recommend this book to lovers of magical novels, although in this one, the girl doesn't suddenly discover she has magical powers. She is still special, though, and as cheesy as that sounds I found it very inspiring. :tup

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(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.


  1. I'm actually always on the lookout for a standalone in YA (as long as there are no cliffhangers!) and I'm definitely looking to pick this one up. I love a bit of magic :D

    It's so good to hear that we get a protagonist who isn't dumbed down by love (if you get what I mean). You're so right though--it happens in books all the time, but in real life...well ;) Great review! :D

    1. Yeah I normally love stand alone books too! This one was so good I wanted it to be a series lol ;) and I hate when the MC female is dumbed down, I love a smarty pants :P lol
      Thanks Jess! Let me know what u think of this one when u get to it!

  2. I am so excited you mentioned Eleanor! I loved her so much, and it is always a treat for me to discover a secondary character that I loved so much!

    Great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. Yeah. She was hilarious! I loved her a lot too :L a great secondary character can add a lot to a book in my opinion. Thanks Michelle. Glad u loved this one!

  3. This sounds like an awesome book! I'm not a huge fan of stand alines either (unless they're contemporary). I believe I've read one of the author's other books. It wasn't my favorite but hopefully I'll enjoy this book more!

    Thanks for the review!

    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader!

    1. Ooh you're welcome! I wonder which was the book u read? I have Mind Games by her and wanna read it soon... I did love this one, hope u like it if u get to it! :tup

  4. It sounds lovely! I usually love these type books and honestly I really think I'd enjoy this one, but I am not eager to read it. I got one of those annoying blast promo messages on goodreads from the author and now I don't feel like supporting the book and her efforts. *grumbles*

  5. I love that it's a standalone as I really don't want to start any more series until I finish some. This is now on my wanted list and I hope to get to it soon. I love smart lead characters too and think I'd love this book.


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