Wednesday 8 July 2015

Not Every Girl: Jane McGarry | Review | FTM

Olivia Davenport’s plan is destined to fail. 

She is going through with it anyway, of course. After all, it is the chance of a lifetime. The unreasonable rules of others should not stand in her way. 

In her small kingdom of Stewartsland, Olivia trains with the squires and harbors a secret dream. She longs to become a knight under the command of the Master-of–Arms, who just happens to be her father. He has indulged her passion so far, but they both know a simple fact – girls may not attain knighthood. Dismayed by the constant discouragement of her ambitions, she makes an impetuous decision to disguise herself as a boy in order to sneak on a mission. The consequences are not at all what she anticipated. 

When her deception is revealed, she is sent home in disgrace; however, an unexpected turn of events puts her at the center of a dangerous plot against the King. The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws, yet these pale in comparison to her newly awakened emotions. She finds not only her life at risk, but also her heart, when the aloof Prince Liam begins to affect her in ways she never thought possible. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional. 

- Goodreads Synopsis

This Review Will Be SPOILER-FREE

Not Every Girl is a new young-adult book filled with empowering moments, adventures and light hearted moments that will make you smile. While browsing the Ibook store, I had the urge to check out Not Every Girl, I don't usually shop on any of the Apple stores, Amazon, Kindle or Kobo so I checked out the chapter sampler. I raved about the chapters that I had read on Instagram, and Jane kindly reached out to me and offered to send me a review copy of her book, which I was so grateful  for and I couldn't thank her enough. (THANK YOU JANE!)

Strong female heroines are very common in today's young-adult literature. It is something that was once very rare, but now is very common. However, even though we got hundreds and hundreds of stories about female protagonists, I have never come across a novel that told a story about a female being degraded over something that is typically done by someone who is male. Yes, there is the famous Disney movie Mulan but I have never read a book that was similar to it. Not Every Girl was so refreshing, it was something new.

Debut novels can sometimes have a number of flaws to them. There can usually be plot holes, underdeveloped characters and strange world-building. Not Every Girl did not have that problem. While this book is short, it is still better then most young-adult debut novels that I have read. Jane uses her words so beautifully, she describes every moment and every thought.

I had very few problems with Not Every Girl, one of the only problems I had was that there was a slight disconnect with the main character Olivia. I feel like this happened because this book was so short, and it didn't give us time to get to know the characters as we usually would. As much as I love these characters, I know that if something severe happened to any of them, I wouldn't really feel much. There was something missing from the characters and the relationships. There were great bonds, but I would like to get to know them more mainly because, I didn't get to care for them as much as I would have liked to. For me, the connection between the reader and the characters is something that is very important when it comes to the reading experience. Nonetheless, she is still a very inspirational strong character and she is still one of my favourite characters.

Speaking of characters, there is Prince Liam. There is nothing really special about Liam, but that is exactly what makes him unique. He is very charming, handsome and has a very generic personality. I don't know how to describe it, but he is just so sweet. He is my second Peeta Mellark. He is one of those characters who is very straight toned but you just can't help but love him. (Watch out Peeta, you have competition!)

Jane did a wonderful job building the world, it was so easy to visualize everything to the point where it seemed like an awesome fantasy movie playing in my mind. The descriptive fight scenes were my favourite parts of Not Every Girl because you can feel the anticipation and the adrenaline.

Not Every Girl is a book that has something for everyone. It has adventure, romance and light hearted humour. The humour was another thing that that I loved, it is so rare for me to find a book that really makes me laugh because they would be trying too hard. The comical scenes in this novel would make me laugh, even for a brief second. There was something so awkwardly warm and hysterical about them.

There are so many little things about Not Every Girl that makes it special. It's awesome that Jane focused on the little things even if it was brief because, those things made Not Every Girl, Not Every Girl. For example, Midnight the stray cat.

This is a book that is fast paced, so fast paced that you won't even realize when you've reached the end of the novel. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and it leaves you wanting more.

When I reached the end of this novel, I noticed how empowered and how much pride I was feeling. Olivia's story is something that has obviously been done before, but there is something about her determination and how strong she is that makes you smile. Olivia is a character that is so whole and pure.

Overall, I really loved this book. My expectations were met. This book is so impressive especially since it is Jane's debut novel. There is a reason why it currently has an awesome rating on Goodreads, and that is because it's fantastic. I highly suggest that you go out and read it. Not Every Girl is so empowering, it's one big adventure filled with action, humour and romance! One of the best author debut novels that I have read. A solid 5 out of 5 stars. 


Stay tuned for an interview with Jane McGarry discussing, Not Every Girl, sequels and more!

COMING July 10th!

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