Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Adoration of Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Illusions of Fate is officially my new favorite book. I am in love. Obsessed. And heartbroken it is a stand-alone and only 275 pages long. Et cetera.


Series: None

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5++ stars!!!


Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.
Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.


Illusions of Fate is officially my new favorite book. I am in love. Obsessed. And heartbroken it is a stand-alone and only 275 pages long. Et cetera.

This book can be best described as Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones for young adults (not that young adults shouldn’t read Howl’s Moving Castle too! And see the movie!). Finn is Howl reincarnated in so many ways (even their first meeting is nearly the exact same as Howl and Sophie’s, and his mysterious character and magic abilities are also alike), and the magic and themes of this book are very similar. In fact, it turns out that my feelings of deja vu throughout this book were not incorrect, as Kiersten White wrote a thank you to Diana Wynne Jones and Hayao Miyazaki in her acknowledgments for their inspiration. While I certainly loved all the aspects of this book, I do think that one of the main reasons I loved it so much was because it brought me back to many dear hours spent watching the movie and reading the book as a younger child and teen, which I understand is not something everyone who reads Illusions of Fate would share.

Illusions of Fate is packed full of amazing characters! Finn is as perfect and charming and beautiful as my ideal boyfriend (not really… I think), Eleanor is an amazing best friend and a generally hilarious character, and Jessamin is a super strong woman figure — a real role model.

I love how this book addresses controversial themes in a very interesting way. Illusions of Fate very clearly lays out the idea that racism and discrimination isn’t a one-sided thing, and that the people who are discriminated against have their own biases and stereotypes of the other side.

This book is full of fantastic, engaging, and clever dialogue. I would quote all my favorite parts but then I’d have to copy and paste the whole book… and I cannot possibly choose one favorite. You’ll just have to read the entire book yourself. It won’t take long — I gobbled it up in less than 2 days!

Everything, absolutely everything in this book is perfect: the characters, the romance, the plot, the magic, the world-building, the humor, the dialogue, the beautiful cover, etc. Finn and Jessamin are my new favorite couple (excluding Finn and myself of course!), and their flirtation is adorable! It’s also very smart that Jessamin’s native tongue has 15 different words for love — that’s most certainly something I need (how come we don’t have more words between “like” and “love” in this stupid language!).

As anyone who ever say me reading this book could clearly see, I adored every single minute. Illusions of Fate affected me like very few books can. It made me squeal, laugh, and sigh out loud, hug the book to my chest, forget to eat and sleep, smile as broadly as my face allows, and left me staring off into nothingness for ten minutes after I’d finished, still absorbed in its magic. It’s truly unbelievable.

I hope the next book I’ll be reading (unrelated to this one except it was also published in 2014), The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, can live up to this one, which sets an extremely high bar! I cannot recommend this book more. It’s on my to-purchase list simply so I can add it to my collection of favorites and re-read again and again.

This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge. 


4 comments on “Gwen’s Adoration of Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

  1. stephaniesbookreviews
    January 22, 2015

    I really loved this book too! It was definitely one of my favorite books from last year! I want Eleanor to get her own spin-off!

    • gwenkate
      January 22, 2015

      Yes! Definitely. Although actually I want EVERYONE to get their own spinoff series! :-) ~Gwen

  2. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge: BINGO!! (#1) | Gwen & Kate's Library

  3. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge FINALE!! | Gwen & Kate's Library

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