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Sparkles and Lightning

Hello all! I'm Annabelle, a (currently inactive but soon to be back) book blogger with a thing for red roses and rain and fictional boys.

Currently reading

The Hobbit or There and Back Again
J.R.R. Tolkien
Civilization and Its Discontents (The Standard Edition) (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)
Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, Peter Gay
The Problems of Philosophy
Bertrand Russell
Dark Triumph
Robin LaFevers
Dark Matter Heart
Nathan Wrann
Temptation (Harlequin Teen)
Karen Ann Hopkins
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
Destined - Aprilynne Pike *****FINAL RATING: 4.55 STARS*****CATCHALLI've been with this series since the beginning, and I told myself I'd see it through. So I have. While it's had its ups and downs like any other series, I've found it thoroughly enjoyable and this book provided a satisfactory and bittersweet final novel. (It also has Tamani, who practically makes up for any faults, but more on that later.) I absolutely adored it.THE HEROINELAURELWhile I freely admit that I often find Laurel to be too self-sacrificing and, at times, annoying, it's always been clear that she has a good heart. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.) She can be almost ridiculously reckless but at the same time I understand that she does it to protect the people she loves. She's definitely grown from the beginning of the series and now to the end, and her maturity was especially remarkable in this novel. Laurel certainly isn't a little girl anymore.THE LOVE INTERESTSTAMANII do not make it any secret that I am Team Tamani. I would follow that man faerie to the ends of the Earth. He's just so freaking hot, and it is useless and pointless to deny it. He's sweetly protective and very strong; he's almost never afraid to back down but he picks his battles. I love that about him, and I love the fierce loyalty and the strong sense of love that I can tell he genuinely feels. He tries to do what he honestly believes to be the right thing.DAVIDSo, I have a confession: In books 1-3, I am afraid I did not like David at all. But in Destined, he absolutely grew on me. I actually really grew to love him too in this book. He's brave and not afraid to offer his life for the greater good, which is so admirable. He doesn't hesitate to stand behind Laurel and he'll be there for her when she and the faeries need him.THE BEST FRIENDCHELSEAMy opinion on Chelsea in the past has been volatile at best. I generally don't really like her and only every once in a while have the occasional moment where I could see through to her. But in Destined she really grew as a character and I couldn't help admiring her. She's a wonderful, fiercely loyal friend, and it's fairly obvious that she would follow Laurel over a cliff.THE PLOTThe whole of Destined takes place in a period of about twenty-four hours.So you can imagine how action-packed it is.There's almost never a bored moment, and I usually had almost no time to catch my breath.I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation at pretty much all times. I couldn't resist falling headlong into the story.Some things were stupid. I admit it. Some things were so stupid they actually made me laugh out loud, hence the barely-five-star rating.Still, overall, I absolutely loved the plot! It kept me entertained and interested, and I was never bored, which always counts for something.THE ROMANCEAs it turns out, I am not telling you who Laurel ends up with. I can't even tell you if I was happy or sad with the decision because that would make it instantly obvious. I won't even put it under a spoiler tab at this time because this book is super new and I don't want to be the one who gives everything away. I will say that there's a lot of fluffy romance, but it's serious too. Some real decisions need to be made. It's not really an easy decision for Laurel but she does make it. It's logical, too. That's all I'll say.THE WRITINGOne thing that makes me strangely mother-duck proud is to see debut authors grow up. Writing-wise, obviously. Aprilynne's first book was sweet but clearly the work of an inexperienced writer; now, in her fourth book, she's a mature and established writer. Her writing voice has become absolutely beautiful and I love it so much. In Wings and Spells we get Laurel's voice; in Illusions and Destined Tamani's voice joins her, showing her increase in diversity. Tamani's voice is better than Laurel's, in my opinion, but I'm probably biased.THE ENDINGThe ending was everything one could want. It was heartbreaking in some ways but devastatingly beautiful in others. There were happy endings, there were sad ones. People died, people lived. Just like in life. It was realistic and believable and clearly well thought out. In my opinion, the letter at the back of the book cements everything as still more real and more heartbreaking, but be warned: It's not all happy, not at all. So heed Aprilynne's warning before you read the letter if you decide to do so.WRAPUPIn general, I was very happy with the Wings series. I thought Aprilynne did a wonderful job, and I'm looking forward to seeing future works from her such as Life After Theft. The title and prospect seem interesting, and also I have a fetish for the name Jeff, because there is this cute guy named Jeff who sits next to me in my physics class and this other really handsome guy named Jeff who used to be in my class and then there's a third adorable Jeff and…uhhh, I'm rambling. So I'll stop (particularly since my boyfriend will read this). But anyway, I'm looking forward to Aprilynne's future projects.FINE.Read more of my reviews on Sparkles and Lightning!----------------------------My pre-review:More Tam, pretty please :) He's the best part of this series. I admit it, I'm in love. Who's with me?Oh my God, and the cover is gor-geous!!!!!!!! And I think that thinking about the blurb is going to kill me. It's so unbelievably tempting and leaves me even more eager for this book's release!!