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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard (Review)

Something Strange and Deadly #3
Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Historical Fiction, Steampunk
Publication.Date:July 22, 2014
Pages:400 (hardcover)
Published By:  HaperTeen
Website:Susan Dennard 

Strange and Ever After on Goodreads
My review copy:
Bought/Personal Library

Where to get:

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride. (Goodreads)

Sadly, I have no quotes for Strange and Ever After. I did have some amazing ones, but Blooger replaced this post with another for some strange random reason and they went *poof*. I didn't save the piece of paper with the quote page numbers on it, so . . . sorry! You should just read the book and experience it for yourself anyway  :)

On Open Letter To Susan Dennard
(Brace yourselves, folks. It's gushy and long.)

What have you done?

I cannot remember the last time I fell so hard for a series. I cannot tell you when I blindly bought books because of a gut feeling. Normally, I hem and haw over reading ratings, getting in from the library, and whether to buy the hardcover and wait for the paperback.

Not to mention, this book is about zombies (for lack of better wording). Can we talk about how much I hate zombies. I don't like them. They freak me out. I can't even watch The Walking Dead because it's too real. Bring on the vampires! Them, I can deal with.

But zombies? No. I pass on anything zombie related. So I can't tell you why I decided to read, let alone buy, Something Strange and Deadly but I flew through it like my life was depending on it. I loved every single aspect about the novel and mentally cursed myself for having waiting so long to read it.

Shortly after finishing, I creeped around on your website and learned that in just two short weeks, you were going to be in my area for the Young Adult Authors Giving Back tour. I think I screamed. No, you can ask Joe . . . I did scream. How could I have lucked out so easily?!

Anyway, I came. I "oo"ed and "aw"ed. I got books signed and had straight up conversations with you. Not just "Hey, I love your books. Thanks." But like, actual conversations. It. Was. The. Best.

Flash a few weeks forward after that and A Darkness Strange and Lovely is released. Thanks to my preordering, I actually got the date a day earlier than full release. I'm not going to lie - I read it immediately. I don't think I've ever driven home so fast from work. (Please don't tell my mom.)

I had been lucky enough to read Something Strange and Deadly so close to the realase date of A Darkness Strange and Lovely, but this was not the case when it came to Strange and Ever After. Months of waiting, agonizing over people tweeting pictures of their ARCS . . . it was killing me. Life was not fair. Then finally the day came when it arrived in the mail and I didn't read it.

I couldn't. How was I supposed to say goodbye to Eleanor, Daniel, Joseph, and Jie? How could I say goodbye to a series that I have loved so entirely? I wasn't ready. I don't know how Susan was able to say goodbye to it, but I was going to put it off for as long as I could. 

I lasted a week.

There is nothing about this world that I don't like. I love the characters, the various settings, the mystery and intrigue behind the plot, Eleanor's stubbornness and refusal to listen to those around her, the romance! Whenever Eleanor and Daniel are together you just want to yell at them to shut pan and kiss! They have such amazing scenes between the two of them, that I can hardly pick a favorite. They're one of my top YA couples for unbounding reasons and were I to name them all, this letter would be longer than it already it. I must have been grinning like an idiot when they're interacting - and I'm pretty sure I'm grinning like an idiot now. But it's totally okay because it's Eleanor and Daniel.

Eleanor is beyond stubborn and I love her for it. I wanted to shake her at times and inform her that she doesn't know everything and is far too new in this world to act like she does. However, she quickly adapts and her development from Something Strange and Deadly to Strange and Ever After is hands down, one of the best character developments I have ever come across.

Your narration is simply amazing. Eleanor is snarky, amusing, honest, and deep. She has these awesome layers that round out her character so well and suck you into her story. She is the character that I want to be friends with. She tries to do whatever she can for those she loves, but at the same time, wants to be happy herself. She stands up for herself, doesn't bother with social issues, and does what she believes should be done.

You have written an amazing series that hooked my from the very first page of the very first book. Your characters are intriguing and multidimensional, the world vivid and magical (literally and figuratively), the narration beautifully done, and this series is all around phenomenal.

What I'm getting at is . . . thank you. Thank you for writing this series. Thank you for writing amazing characters. Thank you for writing a swoon worthy romance.

Thank you for being you.

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