Hello and happy Monday, people! I hope your week has started in the best possible way and that you are looking forward to an interesting week. I really hope to get some reading done, but for now, I am here with a review, and for the last book I read… wow! Anyway, this time I decided to go with a bullet review and try something a bit different. Let me know what you think about it!
Title: The Last Graduate
Series: The Scholomance #2
Author: Naomi Novik
At the Scholomance, El, Orion, and the other students are faced with their final year—and the looming specter of graduation, a deadly ritual that leaves few students alive in its wake. El is determined that her chosen group will survive, but it is a prospect that is looking harder by the day as the savagery of the school ramps up. Until El realizes that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules . . .
I reviewed the first book too (and I can’t believe it, since my record with reviews is not so good but hey! I did it!) and you can read my thoughts here.
5 Reasons Why I Should Have Hated This Book:
- El. She lives in her head and since she is the one narrating the story, we live there with her. And I don’t know about you, but living inside a teen’s head is not really my idea of fun. She is quite self-centered, she is in a full ranting mode, always, and she is constantly overthinking everything. And I mean every single thing.
- The Romance. It is lame. So, so lame. I mean, in the first book we have a lot of sassiness and banter, and it was pretty delicious. Here? Not so much. They tend to try and avoid each other, okay it’s more like El tries to avoid Orion. Orion is just too busy searching for mal to slay. Whatever. We get here with some promises of romance, and we don’t get anything for it. Mind me, I wasn’t hoping for a full romance book, but I wanted the banter, I wanted the fun, and we got nothing. Not a thing.
- Orion. He is sulky and whiny. And he complains a lot. And more often than not, for the “wrong” things. It would be okay for him to complain about, I don’t know, how El is avoiding him, how he is treated by the other kids in the school, and things like that. He would be right to complain, at least. But he is grumpy and whiny because he can’t kill the mals. And sure, if you think about it is kinda funny but… not enough!
- The Plot. It is not there, at least most of the time. Sure, we have things happening, from time to time, but it is not the central part of the book. It just does not happen a lot in there. It is more of a waiting game. Not really funny.
- The Ending. I mean… it is a cliffhanger. And I just hate them. Cliffhangers at the end of chapters? Amazing. Cliffhangers at the end of books? For me, it is not done. It is not the way in which you should do things. A story, and a book is a story, has to have a beginning, a development, and an ending. Everything else is just laziness or a way to sell more books. And, in my book (no pun intended here!) this is just bad. Usually, I can close an eye on a lot of things, but not this kind of ending. There are always exceptions, sure, but more often than not, I think that they should not exist (even more so because they usually are not really well done. And I can’t really explain the “right” and “wrong” way to do it, and I am always thinking about personal opinions here!).
5 Reasons Why I Loved This Book:
- El. Okay, okay, what I said in the previous list still stands. But you know what? It is true that living in the head of a teenager girl is not my idea of fun, and it is quite true that she is self-centered and prone to overthinking (to be kind about it), but I loved every second I spent with her. She is just smart, and caring, but also so so grumpy about it all. I just loved her! A really grumpy grandma in the body of a teenager. Loved it!
- The Setting. The Scholomance is an amazing, and really scary, place. It is quite original, and I loved it. I love to read about schools in books, especially the magical ones, and I love to read about what the kids learn in there. Sure, this is not your typical magic school, that’s for sure, and we don’t get true lessons there but… I loved it!
- The Writing. And the pace. The writing is smooth and compelling. I couldn’t put down the book. And the pace is quite perfect. Sure, we don’t get a lot of action here. And we don’t get a lot of things happening. And yet the book is not boring. Not boring at all. How cool is that?
- I should say the secondary characters. But I would be lying. They are not bad. And it is nice to see El making friends with some of the other kids in there. And they are interesting, all of them. But El is not only the main character. She is front and center here. And the others are not as interesting as her. And they do not have the space to be, to be honest, because we literally live inside El’s head. But El is pretty cool. And I am not only talking about her as a person, I am talking about her as a magician. She is so powerful. And seeing her doing magic is precious. I loved that we get a character that is just so so powerful, and also so good at what she does (sure, she doesn’t really want to become the worst bad magic user out there, but it would be so easy for her!).
- The Ending. I know, I know, I ranted about cliffhangers. And I am still ranting because they should not be a thing. But this series is one of the really few (and I mean really really few) that are done “well” for my standard. And it was epic.
What I can say? I had a great time with it, and what is best is that the third book is coming out soon, so I won’t have to wait for too long… yay!
And what about you? Have you read this book (or the first one)? Are you interested in them? Let me know!!