Phoebe Baldwin ’20
“The Iron King”by Julie Kagawa
For any reader who is enthralled by fantasy, mystery and romance, the “The Iron King” is the next book to read. “The Iron King,” written by Julie Kagawa, conveys the story of a 16-year-old girl named Meghan Chase, who, on her 16th birthday, starts seeing things that normally shouldn’t be there. She later travels to the land of Fey to rescue her four-year-old brother when he is kidnapped.
With the help of her best friend, Robbie, a strange talking cat named Grimalkin and the Winter Prince, Ash, Meghan sets out into the world of the faeries. During her journey, our heroine figures out that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and has a talent that no other faery possesses. Will Meghan be able to save her brother before it’s too late, or will she lose her life before she finds her brother in the war brewing between the faeries? It is worth the read to find out the answers.
Overall, the plot is stupendous. Meghan perseveres through her own adventures in this mythical land while still keeping focus on her main objective: finding her brother and bringing him back to Louisiana. Julie Kagawa paints a vivid picture of Meghan’s journey and the world that Meghan comes to find herself in.
“The Beautiful Lost” by Luanne Rice:
“The Beautiful Lost,” written by Luanne Rice, is the book to read for any reader who is fascinated with romance and road trips. This story portrays a girl named Maia who deeply struggles with depression. Her mother abandoned her years ago and struggles with suicidal thoughts.
Maia decides that it is time to construct a plan. She sets out to find her mother, hoping that they can reconnect and find happiness.
While leaving, Maia decides she cannot bear the thought of leaving her crush, Billy, without saying goodbye first. Billy insists that he should go with Maia to find her mother. Billy aids Maia throughout their journey, providing music and snacks galore (like all road trips have!) With Maia and Billy set off on their road trip in search of her mother, both of them discover that their dark secrets cannot be hidden from each other while falling in love.
In general, the plot was fantastic and well thought of. Unfortunately, Luanne Rice did not lay out the plot as well as she could have, moving it along hurriedly and not giving her audience time to catch up. Rice also does not give a good depiction on what it is like being in a 16 year old girl’s mind. Maia is portrayed as more of a tween who can drive, navigate, understand constellations and stalk/obsess her crush from her window. In addition, Maia assumes people in her life will act a certain way without a doubt in her mind just like a younger tween would, such as with her mother and her step-mother.
Unfortunately, Maia does not show any maturity when it comes to actually taking charge in the book. Toward the later chapters of the book, Billy seems to be dictating what their next move will be. Maia does occasionally take matters into her own hands to find her mother, but the way she does is reckless and impulsive.
In the end, both Billy and Maia develop too quickly over the course of their road trip that lasted less than a week. It seemed inhumanly possible to develop and view the world differently in such a short amount of time. This portrays a rushed feeling and gives off that the author wanted to have the characters suddenly develop, which, in reality, would take longer to occur. Overall, “The Beautiful Lost” fits the middle school level criteria and is not best choice for upperclassmen in the high school. I recommend this book as a quick read for high schoolers, but it is more a middle school read.