****FINAL RATING: 4.35 STARS****CATCHALLSo, this was an enjoyable book. A really, really enjoyable book. I loved it, even. However, I also have some issues with it. I do think it was a very good book, but it definitely wasn't perfect. I would definitely read it again if given the choice, despite the fact that not too many of the characters save for one appealed to me. (YET.) Another thing this book has going for it is that it will appeal to both boys and girls.THE HEROSAMI'm trying to think of someone I've wanted to punch as much as I wanted to punch Sam. He was, basically, a jerk and the living, breathing example of why I date dancers and not jocks. I am not a violent person but if I could've slapped him…well, I would've. He didn't even get less annoying until near the very end, which further ticked me off. I tried to understand his behavior to a point, but really there was no excuse for it. So I didn't like him. There. BUT! He really redeemed himself at the end and I think that I'll like him a lot more in the next books. He had real potential, and I honestly believe that I can learn to love him. (My first words to my boyfriend were, "Don't talk to me, jerk," so I obviously am not the best judge of character from first impressions.)THE LOVE INTERESTSDAPHNEI didn't care for Daphne too much either, honestly. She had this attitude like she was so much better than Sam but he says like ten words to her and suddenly it doesn't matter. Ugh. This annoyed me to no end. I didn't hate her, because I think she does have an inner strength that is really admirable, but I really don't like at all the way she acted. Still, I think she could be a really awesome character later on, and I really can't blame some of her prejudices and opinions.CASSIELLAI was...okay with her. I liked her at first because she seemed sweet and very innocent, but then she did something that majorly ticked me off and struck me as incredibly weak. Instead of relying on herself, she used something else to try and get what she wanted, which is never okay with me. If you're not strong enough to get something by yourself, you don't deserve it anyway. So, I started to resent her and my liking of her was dwindling by the end of the book. However, once I realized a certain fact, I started to like her again, after learning something major wasn't really her fault and out of her control. (Although I do love her name.)THE LOYAL AND MAGICAL FRIENDGLISSANDROThat is possibly the best header ever. Anyway, he was pretty much the only character I ever felt a real connection to. He was sweet but strong, and wasn't afraid to say what he felt. He had a a good heart that is reflected in the fact that Sam actually treated him like grass as opposed to dirt. Plus, music is wonderful. He was the only character I really connected to and understood fully. But like I said, the other characters have a ton of bubbling potential and I think in the next book I will learn to love them all.THE PLOTThis was pretty impressive, actually.It was exciting and full of anticipation.It was concise enough to keep my attention yet had enough information that I felt entertained and not lost. Which, in my world, is always a good thing.The world building is fantastic, if a little much at times. I have a clear picture of Atlas Crown in my head, and it's lovely, if I do say so myself!Everything falls into place smoothly, if a bit too conveniently.Also, there was both just the right amount of magic and too much at the same time. For example, I loved how people just couldn't go around flying any time they felt like it, but I was also annoyed by some irrelevant, unnecessary magic. *cough*thefood*cough*Yet this didn't significantly detract from the story for me. It was awesome!Still, the plot is fast-paced and enjoyable and I loved every bit of it.THE ROMANCEI wasn't too big a fan of this. I thought Sam and Daphne moved way too fast. I mean, the woman goes from practically hating him to diving for his hand! It was definitely instalove, and instalove is never cool. Almost, it was kind of boring and there really wasn't a whole lot of chemistry going on. I also thought Cassiella's jealousy was way too extreme considering she barely knew Sam at all. Still, I've read about a lot of worse romances and I think that given time, Sam's relationships with both Daphne and Cassiella will bloom and even flourish.THE WRITINGThis was the saving grace of the novel. Daniel's writing is beyond gorgeous and so descriptive and beautiful the tit was impossible not to be pulled in. It's simple, but somehow still retains an absolute loveliness that really showcases the beauty of the world and everything about it. I admired it SO MUCH and really feel like it contributed so much to the book.THE ENDINGI honestly didn't care too much for this. I thought is was rather too convenient and far too clean and neat. I did appreciate one detail, however, that did make up for some things. It was painfully realistic and I appreciated that very much. It wasn't all roses and happiness, which was definitely nice to see and highly appreciated. It left a little bit of a cliffhanger but not really, and that was nice too.WRAPUPDid I enjoy this book? Yes! Would I highly recommend it? Yes! It is one of my favorite books that I've read this year so far! I really think a lot of people would really fall in love with this book. Despite its problems, I loved it SO ridiculously much, and will probably reread it before the year is out to relive the magic (I am so clever). I will most definitely be reading the next book, and that should say something!FINE.Read more of my review on Sparkles and Lightning!