Cover Image: The Crossing Gate

The Crossing Gate

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Member Reviews

I really struggled to stay engaged with this. The overall premise was intriguing and it allowed me to forgive the main character's naïveté, but it just felt like the author was banking on us trusting people would be so... abiding? I guess? Overall, I was just fed up and couldn't really grasp why she was so against telling people why she couldn't cross and I felt it dragged. I think the aim was to have the reader asking "ohh will she/won't she cross" but frankly I gave up caring
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Did I go into this book thinking that I would cry?! Absolutely not, but I did.

This is a dystopia book that is incredibly fast paced WITH time jumps which I appreciate. I do think there may have been a few too many of them and they sometimes took away from the story but I won't fault it too much.
You will get a lot of hunger games and divergent vibes from this which gave me huge nostalgia! 

Lenora is a great main character - everything you expect of a girl YA main. There is no love triangle, but you follow her with two boys (Erick and Jason) who really help her on her journey and self discovery. I am team no one.... ahaha who am I kidding, it's Erick for me.

The twist at the end really brings you to want to read the next one.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this arc!
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Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this book.

I am very mixed on my feelings on this one... on one hand, the world building was great- lots of details and some very interesting stuff! However, I felt like it was almost too wordy most of the time and the main character annoyed me a LOT. I get that she was meant to be a "juvenile" so I tried to keep that in mind but it was a struggle with that. I will probably keep my eye out to see what comes next though.
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This is a beautiful cover, but the world itself just felt too convoluted for me to get into. I did not finish.
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The Crossing Gate is such a new and interesting idea. Lenora has tried twice before to make her "crossing" into adulthood. Each going terribly wrong in their own ways, but third time is the charm, right? Who said growing up was easy? She finds it hard to follow the rules, even more so when she thinks she is falling in love - something a juvenile cannot do in Elpax. Is she so different? Or is there something else going on in Elpax? Buckle up because you are in for a ride.
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2.5 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley, Absolute Author Publishing House and the author for granting me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was published on 4 January 2022.

I really wanted to like this book. I pushed through it for the better part of two months. But in the end, despite all its promise, it didn't end up going anywhere.

I have to start off by saying - I am not a young adult any more. There were just some things which personally annoyed me because they were so actively juvenile. But on the other hand, the point of the book was that the main character was stuck in her juvenile stage. So I put up with how little she knew, and how naiive she was. But when everything started escalating, and she had good reason to learn about the adult world, she seemed to learn so easily and suddenly she was savvy when she needed to be, and scared when she needed to be. It felt to me that the main character served the whim of the plot, and didn't have a story of her own.

This story had so much potential. The idea of the Crossing Gate and the system around it is very interesting, and so is the existence of a neo-ancient-Greek and neo-Roman empire. Unfortunately the background plot unfolded very quickly at about 3/4 of the way through the novel, and it all conveniently helped the main character to understand her place in life and not confront her problems or mistakes. The main character consistently suffered very few consequences, and was thrown around by all the other characters in the plot. It was very frustrating just watching her react to everything, and never really do anything actively herself. There was also something about the way the book was written that failed to get inside her head.

I was intrigued by the beginning, and the totalitarian nature of the world. I started getting frustrated with the character's illogical "adult love", and then when everything started falling in on the main character, I followed her along. But not at any point was I compelled by her story. I wish I had been, because I really wanted to like her. I finished the book unsure if she had actually changed at all.
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I was unable to get into this story and unfortunately had to DNF. I think I just wasn’t feeling it at this time so I might try again later
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No la pude leer en su totalidad porque tiene algunas escenas fuertes pero hasta donde leí, los temas son bien tratados y considero que es una novela que tiene mucho potencial
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I enjoyed this book overall, it has a great concept and a really unique story that I've never seen before. The thing that let it down for me was the characters, I didn't really connect with any of them. However the plot kept me going through this book and kept the book enjoyable.
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Thank you NetGalley and publishers for providing me with this advance reader copy.

Description from NetGalley:
She can’t grow up. Literally.
In the kingdom of Elpax, juveniles must walk through the mysterious Crossing Gate to become adults—and seventeen-year-old Lenora is determined that her third attempt at crossing to adulthood will be successful. Even though adulthood means facing horrible realities, such as sin-spots appearing on her body whenever she commits a sin, it also means being able to have a job. And Lenora needs to work to support her struggling family.
But Lenora’s Crossing Day goes horribly wrong.
Accused of trying to start a revolution, Lenora must obey the kingdom’s laws to the letter if she wants to take suspicion off herself. But following the rules isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially when she meets a mysterious and handsome stranger who makes her feel emotions she’s never experienced before—even though juveniles in Elpax aren’t supposed to be capable of falling in love.
With the long arm of the law looming over her and her family, Lenora must walk a tightrope between following the rules and investigating why she’s unable to cross. Not to mention discovering where her new adult emotions are coming from. But as Lenora uncovers more of Elpax’s terrible secrets, she realizes that fighting the system might be the only way to save her family, her country, and her first love.
This book smacks to me of the huge dystopian push that happened with The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, or Divergent a ways back. It contains a lot of those great tropes and some of the bad ones too. Lenora (Leen) is that totally average but not average girl that has trouble crossing into adulthood until she’s attracted to a man. The entire time I went back and forth if I liked Leen and had to keep reminding myself that part of this dystopian world was that she didn’t have access to information and was raised on lies. 

The storytelling was alright. The pacing felt a bit uneven and left me at parts thinking about a different series I could be reading. The logic at parts made me go “What???
Part of that may be because I quickly left the dystopian YA scene and have moved much more into other genres. It could also be that parts just really left a bad taste in my mouth, especially some of the interactions between Leen and her love interest. 

I DNF’d it at 65%. I gave it a good go but don’t think it’s for me.  2/5
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The Crossing Gate is for YA lovers who loved the dystopian craze of the early 2010s. The premise is fascinating and well executed with likeable characters. I could picture each scene and was rooting for the main character the entire time. I look forward to picking up a finished copy in paperback and continuing the series.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Absolute Author Publishing House, and Asiel R. Lavie for the opportunity to read The Crossing Gate in exchange for an honest review.

The Crossing Gate is the first book in the A Sin of Waltz and Fire series. This book is described being for those who enjoyed Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series, or Lauren Oliver's Delirium series. I did not get any Red Queen vibes from this book, though Delirium is a decent comparison. While reading, my vibes were more along the lines of Lois Lowry's The Giver and Ally Condie's Matched trilogy.

The first few chapters were a bit hard to get into, but once the book got going, it was extremely hard to put down...until closer to the end.

Leen (Lenora ) is a juvenile who has failed to cross through the Crossing Gate twice now. The Crossing Gate allows members of society to be classified and identified as adults. There are certain things only adults know about, certain words that are only in an adult vocabulary. After going to her friend's wedding, she meets someone who shows here a strange vision. Not too long after, she sees the man from her dream in person and she startes to experience feelings, something only crossed-over adults are able to experience.

Leen falls in love with Erick. He is a crossed-over adult who works in law and he knows how to be honest and careful when it comes to juveniles. He shows Leen what it is like to kiss and the warmth one may feel from getting a hug. With Erick's feelings toward her, Leen finally has enough confidence to cross through the Crossing Gate and become an adult. When she walks through and Erick is seemingly not at the end, her whole life is turned upsiddedown in that moment.

Leen sees what the world is really like when she is on the run from Prince Thaddeus. The Prince believes the girl who fails to cross three times will be his downfall. War breaks out, and Leen experiences the hardships her life was previously protected from, all while determining in her own way what it means to grow from juvenile to adult. 

The entire first half of this book was absolutely amazoing. It focsed on Leen and Erick's secret relations and how Erick would show Leen things only adults were supposted to know about or experience. There were a lot of time skips, which hindered the relationship development a bit, but it was still enticing to read. After the mid-way point, where Leen finally chooses to cross, the book takes a bit of a nose dive. The world around her is in turmoil (because of her) and she learns the harsh relaities that the world is really made up of. This second half felt very rushed and a bit all over the place. Leen is on the run, and during that time, she revisits the person she met at her friend's wedding. Something about multiple universes came right out of left field and felt very out of place.

The ending was decent at least, and I am certainly interested in reading the next installment to see how the more intriguing aspects of the series play out. A good book for a young adult audience and readers who love a dystopian setting.
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First of all, thank you Netgalley for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

And I should start by saying that I wanted to read this book because of the cover and the catchy synopsis.

We have a society where the stages of your life which are childhood, youth and adulthood are interfered with by a process of crossing through a big arch that gives you a line on your forearm so you know you are already growing up. but our protagonist can't move from youth to adulthood, and you only have a few chances to get through, but she has failed at all of them....

The story is very entertaining from the beginning and is a good introductory book to her world and how everything is handled in it. The main character is good, but if I came to despair a little and is that their attitudes and some things she did did not convinced me and I do not tolerate them.

And something that I didn't like is that several events were developed in a very hasty way and I feel that there was no development in certain characters that I think would have contributed a lot to the story.

Anyway, it's an interesting book, the ending leaves you wanting to know what else is going to happen and it's a light read.
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It was an okayish read for me. The context was really intriguing and unique, but it felt like the plot fell flat as it proceeded throughout. I almost lost interest at times, and skipped some parts for speed reading. I'm sure there are audience out there for the book, but I don't think it was for me.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book for review, all opinions are my own*

4.5 stars

This is a book that is the first 50% of the book and the last 50% are totally different from each other.
Two things that this book maintains, which is the author's writing, I found it very simple but I liked it made the reading quick.
The author's narrative holds you and involves you to the point that you don't want to stop reading.
Here we have a mixture of dystopia and fantasy, the construction of the world was well done, it is a world that oppresses women, where they have almost no rights and are subjected to things just because they are women, here we also have one of the coolest things about this story, that's the fact that you have to go through phases of your life and you learn things with each phase that passes.
The beginning of the book is very YA, where the romance was the focus which I don't know if I liked the romance in this book but the friendship in this book was very well built.
The protagonist can be quite annoying but because of the world and the way she was created I managed to overlook her innocence and boringness
I admit that I only continued reading because I accepted that it would be a YA book, where things would be simple, very romantic and everything happening in convenient ways for our protagonist.
But in the second part of the book everything changes in a way that is even a little drastic, and very heavy events begin to happen, making the narrative more interesting beyond just following the life of our protagonist, both she and the world grow a lot, I don't know if I liked all of the developments in the world, but they were interesting.
I recommend this story if you like YA books that have a good mix of dystopia and fantasy, that are simple but still well done with cool plots, and a captivating story that will surprise you as you read on.
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**I was given a free arc copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I wanted to enjoy this book when I first read the synopsis, however, the writing style was what ultimately made it too difficult for me. I've never seen a book with so many exclamation marks throughout both serious and uncomfortable moments before. Some might see this as a small issue, but for me, it not only cheapened the storyline, but Lenora's voice felt much younger than 18. The more I found them in places that made little sense for one, the more frustrated I became with what kind of voice and main character the author was trying to show in The Crossing Gate.

Lenora confused me. I didn't understand how she could think or do some of the actions she had even with understanding the societal rules and differences between juveniles and adults within this dystopian read. The betrayals along the way to her made some sense, but I was left overall with little opinion on the main character and how she understood (or didn't understand) her feelings.

In theory, the world-building, sins and its separation of age classes worked, but in practice, I found it hard to keep up with the twists and turns that occurred. I felt uncomfortable at times, especially when the government were doing testing on Lenora. The love interest was messy and flip-flopped around a great deal, causing further confusion than needed. I did like how you got the "visions" into the royal life, so Lenora was given a deeper understanding of what had happened, but admittedly I struggled overall with the entire plot due to the writing style.

I am an older reader and perhaps because this book has a younger voice to it, it would suit a younger audience more as I didn't quite grasp the intent behind this story at all which disappoints me.
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This book is very similar to divergent in many ways. But it’s so different… so that’s where I’m at with this book

The story takes place in a society where juveniles only become adults when they cross through a crossing gate. Unfortunately our protagonist Lenora is physically unable to cross. This brings her unwanted attention and she finds herself on the bad side of some very powerful people. 

This was a fast and enjoyable read and I am pretty interested In continuing this series.
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Wow. That was a lot of information in those last few pages. I need time to absorb it all.

You know, this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. When it started, I was excited because it gave me The Giver vibes and I love that book. As it progressed (before Leen attempted to go through the gate the final time), I felt like it was taking a disappointing turn. It kind of reminded me of Matched - good story until the author got carried away with writing poetry between the two lovers. I thought that's what was happening here - good story until the mushy bits between Leen and Erick. They were just over the top for me and I caught myself rolling my eyes each time.

But boy did that all change. Once Leen made her final attempt over the crossing gate - BAM! The story went from some cutesy dystopian YA to a graphic Game of Thrones meets Hunger Games. And I mean graphic - if sexual assault/rape/trafficking are triggers for you, do not read this book. I was grossed out at some parts, but I realized I just couldn't put the book down so it was doing something right for me.

Towards the end, it did get a little cringey again. I mean, these characters have been through a lot and suddenly they're calling each other "baby." *Cue eye roll again* But then there was another BAM! that I didn't see coming so I guess that makes up for it.

This book is clearly making a statement about the way the world treats women. From the sin spots to the virginity checks to the brothels and concubines to the mothers constantly sacrificing for their children. I felt that it was saying women are more scrutinized and punished more often than men for smaller transgressions and it kind of makes you want to join the fight.

Needless to say, I'm definitely intrigued even if it wasn't perfect and I do think I'll go onto the next one.
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When I read the premise of this book, I knew that it would be something I'd love, I just didn't know how much.

You know what else I wasn't expecting? ALL THE TEARS! This book made me cry.

The author did a wonderful job of getting the emotions across throughout the entire story. I really felt for Lenora because of all she had to go through.

And I love love love her hair colour. There's a surprising lack of (partially) green haired characters in books, WE NEED MORE OF THEM.

The book is over 400 pages long, and a lot happens, but I didn't feel like any part of it was rushed.

I read most of it in one go because I just couldn't stop reading. I only took a break to do some chores and then jumped straight back into this wonderfully crafted world.

There were a few choices that I wasn't sure about (like one adult action which I didn't think belonged only in that age category), but by the end it was explained why it was the way it was, and it made sense.

I liked both of the romance plots, don't ask me which one I like better though, because I can't tell you. But what I can tell you, is that the heartbreak hurt me as much as it hurt Lenora. Books that manage to hurt me so deeply get catapulted to my favourites list.

I'm reaching the end of my review and I still haven't mentioned the numerous plot twists, let's remedy that.

There's twist upon twist upon twist. The author managed to keep most of them well hidden until it was time for them to be revealed which I appreciate, since I'm normally pretty good at guessing.

The ending twist in particular was very good, and got me excited for the next book.

If The Crossing Gate was released during the big YA dystopia boom, I'm sure it would be right up there with the greats. I'm hoping that it'll still grow popular, even if the dystopia craze isn't as big now as it was then.

*Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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This was such an amazing read! Lenora needs to make a crossing to become an adult but fails and needs to follow certain laws in order to avoid suspicion. I really enjoyed Lavie's writing as she captured the Greek world pretty well and did an amazing job with creating a new world. Her writing brought back the 2010s books like Divergent and Red Queen which is a good thing in my opinion because Divergent is such an amazing book that I haven't read anything as amazing as those books. The storyline was amazingly structured but I do have to say that it wasn't totally original. The pacing was well done with all conflicts and action well put together in the story.

Lenora is the main character in this book and I enjoyed her story. She is such a brave character and kind of remind me of Mare from Red Queen. She develops throughout this novel but readers can tell that more development is coming in the upcoming books. There are also some great side characters like Lenora's best friends and Erick. I enjoyed most of the side characters and their involvement in the book. This book has a love triangle which is not one of my favorites as it's hard to ship a couple when you could be upset if you are wrong. Even that the romance was just not for me with a 1/5 level of steaminess. 

The ending was just amazing with there being so many twists and turns. It just brought back the Hunger Games and Divergent's ending as they always ended so well with a twist that makes you want more. This book was very well written even though I had some minor problems. But I'm glad to have read this book as it gave me old time feels with a bit of newness to it. This book is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and Red Queen.
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