Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
Publishing August 18 by Little, Brown
When I thought of this new feature, all I could hear in my head was Britney Spears singing "on mai rayda." I wanted to retire my For Your TBR Pile posts because I'm always reviewing things ahead of schedule. Whenever I recommend books to people, I'm always saying, "Oh...but it doesn't come out for a few weeks/months."
So On Your Radar is just how it sounds. Put this book on your radar.
And my very first On Your Radar pick is Court of Fives by Kate Elliott.
First, if you haven't signed up for TheNovl's newletter, do it! Every month you'll get puppy gifs, ARC sign ups and special sneak peeks. That's how I got my hands on Court of Fives (Eeee!).
So Court of Fives was amazing. Here's what GoodReads says: Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test Kal's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
Here's what I say: The whole time I read about the Fives, I imagined it was an obstacle course right out of American Ninja Warrior (I have kind of a thing for that show). Court of Fives was really thrilling. Every time I got to the end of a chapter and tried to put the book down, Kate Elliott pulled out a new twist out of her bag of authory tricks. The plotting was so well-thought out and so smooth.
I loved Jes! She was such a strong main character. Brave and full of fight, her love for her family was so real. What I loved most though was that she wasn't afraid to talk about how much her family also angered her--her sisters' annoying habits, her father's decisions, even her mother's choices. Kate Elliott wasn't afraid to make them a not-perfect family and I thought that was an admirable choice.
Unfortunately, what I really want to talk about is that ending! (But don't worry, I won't spoil...I hope.) I love realistic, complicated endings. I am so not a happily ever after girl, and this had me sitting up in bed late at night, shrieking into my palm.
Kate Elliott, you are my hero! Or maybe my American Ninja Warrior...