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Mini-reviews: Your Destination Is on the Left + Legendary

pub 6/25/18 by Simon Schuster Books
for Young Readers
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Netgalley
Dessa Rhodes and her family are nomads. Together with a couple other families, they travel by RV living on the road and taking it day-by-day. It sounds like that would be really cool, especially since her best friend Cyrus is a part of one of the families traveling with them and she happens to be harboring a long-time crush (which is a big no-no given how close their families are). But instead, Dessa dreams of normalcy and going to college to become an artist. When she receives rejections from all the schools she's applied to, she's thinks this is it and that she's stuck. Until she gets an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. All the families, especially her family, grumble about it (this made me so mad; particularly at her parents!) but Dessa is determined and I admired her for it. The rejections, the desire to prove her worth and the conflict with her parents over her future are real anxieties she struggles with but she's moves forward by throwing herself into her internship in spite of that. It's a quiet story but Dessa's journey is easy to relate to, even though I didn't relate to her lifestyle. And I think it's the latter that had me struggling to connect. The author touches on why her family are nomads but not in depth and I wish she had. I would've liked to know more about Dessa's life before, why her mom loves being on the road so much, did Dessa ever love it and when exactly did that change? Knowing these things would've given even more weight to the tough decisions Dessa has to make. Does she stay with her family living a life she doesn't want or does she pursue being an artist even if it means staying behind?

Do I recommend? It was the premise that drew me to it and if it interests you, I think it's worth checking out.


pub 5/29/18 by Flatiron Books
Young Adult - Fantasy
Purchased book
While I loved Caraval, I approached Legendary cautiously since I knew Tella would be the protagonist and let’s just say, the first book didn’t endear her to me. But you guys, I loved Legendary twice as much Caraval and it’s totally attributed to Tella (and Garber’s fabulous writing, of course). The story picks up right where we left off. Scarlett has won Caraval and escapes an arranged marriage. But Tella’s adventures are just beginning as she has to repay a bargain she made with a mysterious criminal and the price? Legend’s name and true identity. Which means it’s back to the game Tella goes and it was so different to see it through her eyes. What I loved so much about Tella is that she’s in charge of her own story. She accepts her mistakes and her successes and more importantly, she wants to be the one who saves herself. It’s her tenacity mixed with vulnerability that made her such a compelling heroine. Also, Garber does an amazing job of expanding the world is an unexpected way. I loved seeing beyond the game, learning more about magic and where it came from and reuniting with past characters even when they frustrated me a bit (I'm looking at you Scarlett! Also, hello Dante). This solid sequel sets the stage impeccably for book three and I can’t wait to see how Finale brings the series to a close! Plus I heard in an interview that it'll alternate between Scarlett and Tella points-of-view which makes my #TeamTella heart so happy.

Do I recommend? Absolutely! And if you were iffy on Caraval, I guarantee Legendary will change your mind.



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