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Review: Captivate (Vanessa Garden)

The Deets: 
Audience: YA
Pages: 294
Publisher: anuary 1st 2014 by Harlequin TEEN Australia
ISBN: 9781743566114
Genre: fantasy
Source: eARC from publisher via Netgalley

Captivate (Submerged Sun, #1)In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems...

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko...the King of this underwater civilisation.

Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets...
  Captivate has potential to end up being something pretty good. I admit, I picked it up based on the cover and because I thought it was going to be a mermaid book. This is not a mermaid book. It's rather complicated, actually. For originality, Captivate gets a strong A. I like the idea of this utopian society living far removed from the troubles of the world-- even when it's deep beneath the ocean's surface. And like any good literary utopian society, there are plenty of troubles that develop over time to challenge the way of life. I was a bit troubled by the limited number of people within reproductive age in the city. Seems like things might get a bit icky over time. Maybe I read it incorrectly, but it came across as being slim pickings. Of course, there is a scientific explanation for the sterile female population, so it helps the buy in some. The characters are pretty interesting so far. Robbie is still mysterious (as is Marko). You get little glimpses into each of them along the way, but I never felt like the whole picture was presented. I can't say which is my favorite love interest so far. I may actually be pulling for Marko, despite the fact that he starts out super creepy. Robbie just seems too clean and blindly romantic for my taste. Our main protagonist, Miranda, did not leave much of an impression on me either unfortunately. I didn't think she was extremely strong or resourceful. She just kind of floated along with the plot. I did, however, love that she was a reader. So rock on, Miranda.   I know I'll read the next book because I want to know what happens. There was a pretty great cliffhanger ending in Captivate. Whether this book blew me away or not is beside the point; it still did enough to make me curious.      


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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