Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: Black Moon by Jessica McQuay

By Jessica McQuay
Published: October 2012
Publisher: Cambridge Press
Paperback, 240 pages

Thanks to the amazing author Jessica McQuay for providing us with a e-copy of this book to review!

"Am I losing my mind?"

Paige couldn't help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her?

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she's always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?

OK, I'm gonna try something new today. As I read the book, I'm going to leave my impressions of what's happening in the book. By the way, I'm reading this in a PDF format that doesn't actually match up with the pages of the paperback novel I was "reading" on GoodReads.  

Silly Face! Get it? "Impressions?" No? Okay...
Reading Commentary by Rosie

11/08page 240
100.0% "This book easily shattered and surpassed tenfold all my expectations of this book! I'm so glad to have read this book while chatting up a storm with the author herself, Jessica McQuay! Thanks Jessica for giving us this wonderful oppurtunity!"
11/08page 240
100.0% "Happy with how the book ends. It's not rushed, and most things are reasonably resolved."
11/08page 233
97.0% "LOL. Favorite part is here:
"I stared up at her, unable to speak, the shock making it hard to find words.
'You, called my MOM?'
I couldn't believe this. I couldn't believe her.
'Naialah, I don't believe this. How COULD you?'""
11/08page 233
97.0% "Epicness is happening right now."
11/08page 229
95.0% "NEED to know what Naialah is!"
11/08page 225
93.0% "Rachel is a tsundere!"
11/08page 220
91.0% "Dear gawd, Rachel is getting on my nerves. There's gotta be a reason to her charades. What makes her tick..."
11/08page 214
89.0% "JUST realized that the version I'm reading from has more pages than the paperback one includes.... so when it says I'm 89% done, I'm probably only about 70%...."
11/08page 214
89.0% "Naialah is the best! :)"
11/08page 208
11/08page 208
86.0% "AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Noooo wayyyyyyyyyyyy......."
11/08page 208
86.0% "So many twists and turns! I'm loving this!"
11/08page 201
83.0% "So many twists and turns! I'm loving this!"
11/08page 190
79.0% "And all the secrets are being revealed..."
11/08page 163
67.0% "Oh, one more thing. I feel like the writing style has definitely changed (matured?)from the beginning. I like it a lot more than what it was."
11/08page 163
67.0% "Her outfit sounds really pretty! Lots of silky, cottony fluff and boots to die for."
11/08page 150
62.0% "GO PAIGE!"
11/08page 130
54.0% "Yay! It's getting better!"
11/08page 116
48.0% "I'm a little frustated with the way the style is written in. I feel like Paige is constricted to a set/a list of vocabulary and it all seems very repetitive."
11/08page 113
47.0% "I'm thinking this book could probably be considered as Middle Grade. Nothing gory so far."
11/08page 108
45.0% "I would not wanna be part of the stressful royalty life, no matter how posh or rich it is. It's just too plain stressful!"
11/08page 80
33.0% "Stuff is picking up the pace!"
11/08page 47
19.0% "Gooooo Paige! Way to use your head!"
11/08page 30
12.0% "I've decided. I really like Paige's mom. You rock, fae mother of Paige!"
11/08page 27
11.0% "I take back what I said 2 statuses earlier...."
11/08page 27
11.0% "Wait a minute....."
11/08page 27
11.0% "OK, OK. How is Paige able to accept all of this new information without doubting it a bit? Because the story is moving so fast, I expect lots of stuff is going to happen from here on out...."
11/08page 22
9.0% "Ermergod. What. The.... The pace of this book is quite fast."
11/08page 20
8.0% "Now I want spaghetti!"
11/08page 17
7.0% "STALKER"
11/08page 17
7.0% "Plot twist! I sort of expected that to happen, though."
11/08page 15
6.0% "Chapter 2! Whoot whoot!"
11/08page 12
11/08page 11
4.0% "Oi, looks like she's in the denial stage of "receiving an other worldly power" of YA books."
11/08page 10
4.0% "Characters are a bit highschool cliche stereotypical...we shall see how this goes! But I'm liking the main far."
11/08page 6
2.0% "It looks okay so far."
Four stars along with and an invisible quarter star
Okay, I'm going to cheat our usual rating system here. I'm going to give this book 4.25 stars.  You can imagine the missing 1/4 star. :) I'm going to be reviewing the Cover Art, Plot, Style, Characters, Personal Pet-Peeves, or PPPs, if you will, and Overall opinions.

Cover Art: Definitely an interesting choice for a cover. It's neither beautiful, nor gory, nor depressing. It's beguiling and alluring. The woman is beckoning potential readers to come over and find out her secrets. After reading the book, I'm honestly quite glad the author didn't go with some frilly-fluffy-bubbly-a-unicorn-threw-up-on-it-cover, as it seems most YA novels about faeries/fairies are. I'll give 4 (out of five) thumbs up for this cover!

Plot/Style: I don't think the plot summary of Black Moon does the book enough justice. I was truly quite skeptical when first going in, but, as I found out later, that I was quite wrong. I feel like the summary of the book gives off the wrong vibe. Not a bad vibe, just different from what I experienced while reading the book. I feel that the style of the book was quite varying. There was a lot of action, emotion, and learning about trusting one another/friendship. If you're looking for romance, this book ain't for you. There are maybe a total of 3-4 pages talking about romance that doesn't even involve Paige, the main character.

The plot of Black Moon definitely contains many plot twists and turns that make the story ten-fold better. While things might not make sense in the beginning, all will be revealed in the end. After reaching the end, I had encountered quite a few of those "Ah-ha!" moments.  Out of personal experience, it's extremely hard to write a novel that has just the right pace, interesting sensory details, and lovable characters, and still keep a satisfying ending. Jessica Mcquay is skillful in incorporating ah-ha moments without boring you to death in the process, as well as creating a whole new world that I can easily imagine. (Man, what I'd kill to become a Paige Tailor.)

The type of narration of Black Moon is written in first person, with Paige as the main POV, and sometimes switching off to Cail or Rachel. One last point: I was extremely happy with how the book ended. It wasn't rushed, and it wasn't forced. It was natural, and flowed right out of the heart. (cheesy, I know) Mostly everything is resolved and it reaches a satisfying conclusion. It's really hard to find a decent YA ending, but this book definitely has one.

(Paige, Niahlah, Rachel)

Paige: The story revolves around a 17 year old senior, Paige Tailor, who is a geeky, quiet, A+ student. Never one to get in fights, and quite a loner, she seeks to change that, but her life quickly is flipped upsidedown as she finds out that she is part faerie! I was attacted to this book because I can sympathize with the protagonist's geeky, relatable character. Call me bias, but strong POVs are really quite fun for me to read, and Paige definitely fit this role for me. Quick to argue with people she doens't trust, she is really amusing to read, if not a little annoying for her stubborness. I have to admit, although I loved her character, she kind of complains (A LOT) while she's training her fae powers in the middle. All of her quirks kind of grow on you, like a little sibling or cousin.  I found it ironic that although she's displayed as "mature" in school, as you read about her later in the faerie world of Varulean, you'll learn that she is quite immature and childish at times. I loved watching her character develop throughout the story. In the beginning she was so new to the aspct of faeries, but by the end, she was a pro; like, pshhhh, controlling nature everyday ain't no biggie. (Her powers were my favorite :)

Niahlah: This lady was just kick-ass awesome. She's so secretive and awesomely epic, you can't help but love her. Her outfits were pretty funky, too. The outfits varied from day to day (in hindsight, this is a GOOD thing, regarding hygiene). She wore thigh-high black stilletto boots a lot of the time, apparently. Most of the book displays how the relationship betwen Paige and Niahlah grows and strengthens. I can't even describe how great Niahlah is. You'd have to read the book to find out.

Rachel: I have to admit: Rachel was a psycho. Jessica McQuay cleverly incorporates both sides of the story into the narration. As we see what's going on in Paige's life, the protagonists, we also get a pook from time to time in Rachel's life, the antagonist. Rachel, well, has many, er, problems. Let's just leave it at that. Rachel is a very needy personality, but puts up a "tough girl" attitude as a front to avoid emotional pain. Yup, for those of you who know a bit of Japanese, she is a tsundere. She's a person that'll treat you coldly and quite rudely, but will actually be quite soft and vulnerable on the inside. As I have been told from the author, more of Rachel's story will be revealed in the sequel! Oh, and did I mention that she's a werewolf?

Pet Peeves:
One of my petpeeves, or annoyances about this story would probably be the slow beginning. Definitely after the first 20-50 pages, the story picks up, but before then, it's quite draggy. I feel like you'd have to be patient to get to the "good part" and not many people are that willing to do so. My impressions for the first part, if you can see above, weren't as happy as the later ones. It might just be me, but I noticed a subtle change of writing style after 100 pages or so. I don't know if this was intentional, to symbolize the maturity of Paige (the book is written in 1st person). If this was done purposefully, then great job!

One more little eensy-weensy annoyance. In the middle of the story, Paige agrees with her fae grandparents to train in the liberal fae arts and socializing before learning magic. I noticed that Paige complains a LOT, LOT, LOT for about 20-30 pages. Once I read over that hurdle, everything was smooth sailing afterwards.

One of my favorite parts abotu the faerie world is that it's a matriarchal society, meaning women rule. This isn't common, which is why I enjoy reading about it so much. Most of the fighting characters were women, including Paige, Naialah, and Rachel. GO ESTROGEN! As you can tell, I'm a feminist. So yeah....

I really enjoyed this novel, a lot more than I thought. As I said earlier in my reading commentary, this book exceeded and shattered all my expectations tenfold! :D
Overall, Jessica McQuay creates an elegant, yet dangerous faerie world, that follows the experiences of your not-so-average highschool senior, Paige Tailor. (BTW-how is she even able to graduate highschool in the end? She goes to the faerie world for a decent chunk of time!)It's definitely worth it to give this book a try. I guarantee you'll like it (once you get past the first 50 pages or so).

Happy Reading and thanks to Jessica McQuay for chatting up a storm!


  1. Love the reading commentary! Definitely made me want to read this, even though I'm not usually a fan of faeries! Awesome review, and I'm glad that this book shattered your expectations! If that's not a glowing endorsement, I don't know what it!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    1. Thanks! I think I'll do more "reading commentary" in the near future! :)

      Rosie @ YAN


Please share your thoughts! We really appreciate your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...