Thursday, September 5, 2013

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst [Review]

Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication.Date  September 3rd 2013
Published By:  Walker Childrens
WebsiteSarah Beth Durst 

Conjured on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

Don't be afraid, Eve. Not of this. You can be afraid of spiders or snakes or airplane crashes or a zombie apocalypse... but don't be afraid of yourself.
Because with you, life doesn't feel brutish and short. It feels beautiful... and short.
If my insides were a bookshelf, she thought, I'd be a jumble of volumes, stacked in random order and filled with blank pages.

     An ambitious, visually dazzling and completely breathtaking literary triumph - Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst is an absolute must-read for any paranormal fantasy fan out there. This book makes for an extremely compelling, refreshing and emotionally engaging journey - one that you'll want to re-take time and time again. It's entirely unique. It's seamlessly plotted. It's dark and creepy, yet mesmerizing and magical at the same time. Hands down one of my top favorite books ever.

      Conjured is a gorgeously told story - one that explores themes of identity, belonging, destiny and love. Reading it was a truly magical experience. I was mesmerized and amazed every step of the way. I loved everything about this book - the luscious detail in which the carnival backdrop was described, the horror of Eve's dreams and visions, the hidden symbolism and the perfectly satisfying ending. This tale was both uplifting and heartbreaking, sad and wonderfully hopeful. Full of meaning. I loved how new and fresh everything felt - I've never read anything like it before! Every page of Conjured shines with creativity and uniqueness

     The plot line itself was incredibly well thought out and gripping. I did not want to stop reading. I loved the mystery behind Eve's character and how it slowly unravelled through visions and dreams. Many aspects of this tale were downright scary - like the magician-turned-serial-killer who would cut his victims into pieces and then keep their remains in special boxes, or Eve's disturbing memories resurfacing while she was unconscious - but there were also other aspects of it that were incredibly beautiful, meaningful and moving. Some of them were positive and heart-warming, others.. simply tragic. The complexity of this story was at times overpowering (in a good way) and I felt heavy with so many feelings and emotions this story brought on.

     Durst's heroines are always fierce, tough, clever and persistent - like Pearl, the kick-ass vampire girl with a conscience who has to save an entire town from being slaughtered, or Liyana, the girl who has to sacrifice her own life and dreams in order for her tribe to survive. They're always three dimensional, intelligent, witty and relatable. You meet them, you get to know them and you end up caring for them, like they're not just characters in a book, but real life people. And Eve is no exception. She's a mystery to everyone, including herself - lost and scared, and yet determined to discover who she really is and why her memories are so important to the people protecting her. She's special and different, and there's a shocking secret in her past... 
     Sarah Beth Durst is incredibly talented. I am a huge fan of hers - always ready to drop everything else to read her new book the moment I get my hands on it. Seriously, no one does it better. She doesn't rewrite old tales, she creates all her stories, settings and characters from scratch. Her world and character building skills are top notch and her books deserve to be loved, cherished and raved about. I can't wait to see what other stories she'll pull out of her magical hat!

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