Sunday, February 12, 2017

Book Review | First Year by Rachel E. Carter

Title: First Year
Author: Rachel E. Carter
Publication: January 24th 17 by Rachel E. Carter
Series: First of 4 Books (all of them have been released)
Pages: 252
Genre: YA Action/Adventure & Fantasy
Copy: Bought
Summary: Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…
For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.
Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.
Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?

I first read this book a little over a year ago.  At the time, I was in a horrible reading slump, and I didn't know how to get out of it.  I'd hoped that reading this book would help, but it didn't.  I finished the book, but I didn't really get to appreciate or enjoy it.  I decided to put it off for a while and come back to it.  Well, I finally had enough time to pick it up again, and I found out that Rachel was re-releasing the series, so I knew it was meant to be.  I bought the new version and started reading it right away.

And boy, am I glad I decided to give this book another try, because I LOVED it!!  I literally can't get all of my thoughts together to write this review because I'm so overwhelmed by how good this book is.  The characters are amazing, the setting is amazing, the world-building is amazing, the magic is amazing.  I'm 100% obsessed.

I love the magic-training school setting going on in this book.  I think it goes back to my obsession with wanting to go to Hogwarts.  But this is like Hogwarts on crack.  The characters are pushed so far in this book.  I was constantly amazed by the badassness of the characters that had to go through that.

Speaking of the characters, they were probably my favorite part of this book.  Ryiah, our MC, is the most determined character I've ever met.  She has such a tough time in this book, and it was so awesome to see her struggle so much to achieve her goal.  This isn't like most books where the special snowflake MC has special abilities and is automatically the best.  Ryiah is constantly fighting to keep up with the others, and she works twice as hard as everyone.  My new motto for when I work out in the mornings is: "If Ryiah can survive The Academy, you can do a 20 minute work out".

And then there's Darren.  Oh, Darren.  How I want to punch you in the face.  But I also love you.  Kind of like someone else I know... Darren is the epitome of that asshole character that you're automatically obsessed with the entire book. And the banter between him and Ryiah is PERFECT.  I'm such a sucker for enemies-to-friends-to-romance.  Seriously, if you're not team Darren...what are you even doing with your life?

Okay, I think I'm done ranting about this book now.  If you haven't read it yet, READ IT.  I'm serious, you will thank me later.  And it's only $0.99 on the Kindle right now, so you don't have any excuses!

My song recommendation for this book is Worth the Fight by Broods!  Not gonna lie...I definitely stole this from Rachel.  I saw somewhere that this was one of the songs that inspired her for this book, and I ended up listening to it all throughout the book.  Broods is one of my favorite artists, but I had never heard this song before now.  If you haven't listened to it, I definitely recommend it!