Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: The White Rose by Amy Ewing

Title: The White Rose (The Lone City #2)
Author: Amy Ewing
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.
Review by Nara

After the cruel cliffhanger at the end of The Jewel which made me ridiculously curious as to what would happen next, I can say I'm actually pretty glad I continued on with this series. The White Rose was surprisingly good- I enjoyed it more than the first book, and while I can't say it completely dodged the bullet of Second Book Syndrome, it was definitely worth a read.

To be honest, I'm writing this review about two months after I actually read the book, and I can't really say whether I'd still stick to the high rating, because I actually can't remember exactly why I gave it such a high rating. The perils of having a really bad affliction of book amnesia...But clearly, I did enjoy something about the book since I was willing to give it four stars (five blog stars). While still not particularly original (or super memorable...), somehow this series manages to be juuuust unique enough to keep things rather engaging.

One thing I definitely do remember though, is that I really wasn't too impressed with the romance. I really didn't feel invested in it, and felt that Violet and Ash kind of lacked the chemistry you see in other YA couples. On the other hand, the romance wasn't really the focus of this book, because Violet was much more preoccupied with other things like avoiding the Duchess and saving Raven and such. And these things were pretty interesting to read about, and I could therefore forgive the weak romance. To be honest, I almost feel like the book might actually do better if the romance was taken out. Sidenote: a positive to this series is that there's not love triangle though!

I have to admit, Ewing really knows how to pull off those explosive ending scenes and cliffhanger. While I can't say it wasn't rather predictable, the execution of the twist was good enough to balance out the predictability. And it's definitely the sort of cliffhanger that makes you want to continue reading the series. Seriously, these crafty writers...

Really liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 2.5/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3.5/5