To Stand Beside Her

To Stand Beside Her ~ B. Kristin McMichael

TSBH

Rating 2.5 stars

Blurb

To be the best courier in the world, eighteen-year-old Benét Leila follows three simple rules: always work alone, never stay in one place too long, and never fall in love. Too bad she didn’t follow her own advice.

Leila is a courier.
To the people she takes from, she is seen as a common thief; to the people she helps, she is a savior.
Nalick is your typical king.
He’s rich, powerful, and always assumed to be right. When Leila crosses paths with King Nalick, she finds herself trapped. In a rush to save her best friend Kay from a prison sentence for a crime Leila committed, Leila trades her hand in marriage in exchange for Kay’s freedom.

Tomboy Leila does not want to grow up, but in three months’ time, she will be married to King Nalick, if Nalick can keep his end of the bargain. First, Nalick must make Leila fall in love with him, a hard task since Leila is not ready to love again after losing her first love to a greedy king. Second, Nalick must keep her safe. He is not the only king trying to hold onto her. Leila has made many enemies over the years, and even more admirers that want her as a prize. Lastly, Nalick must convince Leila that ten years of love is better than a lifetime without. Unless Leila can trust her destiny, she might not reach her wedding day at all.

Review

for the most part this did not read like the first book of a self published author. From the beginning we are thrown into the action as Kay is trying to escape from the guards, this immediately caught my attention and i connected with her almost straight away, however this was not her story. it was Leila’s cue her arriving in the next scene in a comparably dull entrance and unfortunately in my opinion this did not change all that much through out the book. Leila was the quintessential “perfect” character that i must say i kind of hate, although this somehow was contradicted many times as well. she was the “best” courier seen as the “ghost courier” (that even while Kay was running for her life in the first scene, she still found the time to look up to) and yet she has apparently been caught so many times ( … once costing her fiance his life), and apparently has 0 awareness i was expecting some sought of reaction when the king moved her when she was sleeping but nup nada nothing. . however when she is caught she always manages to escape… usually with her feminine wiles, because despite being able to blend in she apparently seems to be the most beautiful girl any of these men have ever seen, and i am still wondering what is so special about her?

Then we come to King Nalick… who while i think he is charming and all the rest i don’t see what Leila thought was different about him compared to all the other kings vying for her hand in marriage, this i think is where this novel fell down for me one of the big requirements Leila said about marrying him is there would have to be love… and i was waiting for them to actually fall in love i wanted some courtship, instead the next day she tattoos herself (which basically seems to be the human version of branding in this book) into his family. it is because of me not believing in this relationship that the ending which while admittedly was bittersweet i did not find to be the sad ending i was warned about.

this all in all was just not what i was expecting i was expecting a kick ass heroine with great fight scenes ala Yelena in poison study… which may have been the problem … i was comparing it to one of my favorite books. i found the fight scenes lacking and clinical simply telling us what she did without any sought of description into how and they became almost non events.

Finally i would like to say something about the writing style, which while original i am starting to see more of at the moment. the writing style was a weird mix of 3rd person and 1st person, with it being written in the 3rd person as if you were a mind reader. This is not a writing style that i personally choose to read as i feel it lends itself to a story being told and not experienced, however i can understand why she did this as the story has so much to do with what characters are thinking.
while this book was not quite what i was expecting and not exactly my cup of tea i see potential in McMichael and i imagine this book will be enjoyed by many people.

Also By This Author

TLOTBE

Top 10 (or So) Book Series I Need To Start

series to start

There are so many books out there that i am constantly being barraged with new books, which are often only the first books in the series. some have been sitting on this list for a very long time while others have only just made an appearance while waiting has it’s advantages such as with Unearthly by the time i got around to reading it the whole series was out while others are just a case of i really, really want to read them but they just keep getting pushed down the list.

11 Legend ~ Marie Lu

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yes 11 because i can’t count. … or narrow anything down.so so so interested in this series… have heard nothing but good things about it and have actually had the first book sitting on my e-reader since i got it in December.

10 Chaos Walking ~ Patrick Ness

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I am not entirely sure what this series is about (Hence it holding 10th place) but i have heard nothing but good things about it and it is inevitable that i will eventually pick it up.

the first book in this Series is The Knife of Never Letting Go and that is the reason that even if i had not found glowing reviews about this book i would of picked it up. so intriguing (but really need to find out what this is actually about)

9 The Lord Of The Rings ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

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yep i have yet to read this series… this is despite being an avid reader of fantasy, loving epic quest-y books and just generally liking LONG books, this believe it or not is also in spite of having a beautiful illustrated hard cover omnibus volume that i inherited from my dad… i really have no excuse for not reading this one other than it is sooo huge that it works perfectly well as a bookend and i just haven’t had time… also with so many people telling me i “have to read it” every time i think about it, it just feels like required reading

8 The Once And Future King ~ T.H. White

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if you are a regular reader you may remember this book appearing in the books i bought last month While i had been waiting to get my hands on a nice copy of this book for a while i am not surprised that i have not yet read it. this omnibus volume is 858 pages worth of Arthurian legends told in old fashioned flowery language, while i am dying to read it i doubt it will help me achieve my goal of reading 300 books this year… a task that i have already fallen behind on… i think i will choose a smaller goal next year so i can take on meatier reads without a worry.

7 The Tiger Saga ~ Colleen Houck

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again this one i am not 100% sure what it is about but with the GORGEOUS covers and the split reviews i have been curious as to what i will think about this series. but as i do not have a copy of the first book Tigers Curse and the library has yet to stock the first book (despite the rest of the series sitting on the shelf) who knows when i will get around to reading it.

6 Daughter of Smoke & Bone ~ Laini Taylor

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this series has been recommended to me by countless people most notably my favorite bookstore attendant (who i must say has amazing taste and is yet to lead me wrong)…  and yet i have yet to find it on my shelves…. i am not entirely sure why (particularly when i saw the pretty cover) the titles are enticing and you will defiantly find me devouring this series in the not too distant future… but i think i will wait until the release of the last book because something tells me once i start i will not want to stop.

5 Throne of Glass ~ Sarah J. Maas

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the first book has been sitting on my bookshelf unread since it’s release date (I bought it and got a free copy of Shatter Me) after reading the blurb i was instantly reminded of Poison Study by none other than the great Maria V. Snyder, and so it was no surprise that i decided i HAD to read it, and when you see it’s Kick Ass cover it is no surprise that i HAD to have it, i have actually picked this up to read a couple of times this year (because i am just DYING to) but i am making myself wait until Crown of Midnight (book #2) comes out at the end of August… on a side note how epic are those titles?

4 Shatter Me ~ Tahereh Mafi

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Like Throne of Glass this book has been sitting on my shelf unread for nearly a year and like Throne of glass i am waiting to get my hands on the sequel …. yes it has been released my problem of course is despite getting a perfectly good copy of the book (for free might i add) it is the wrong cover… so i am trying to get my hands on the beautiful Eye cover which continues throughout the series

A Song of Ice and Fire ~ George R.R. Martin

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Most People will be familiar with this series (although they may merely know it as Game Of Thrones) like many people i only heard about this series after the TV show aired and while i have yet to watch it i am very excited by this series. however with this series there are most defiantly things that have led to my not reading it (yet). firstly every time i have walked into a book store to look at buying the books i have been confused as to the order of the books, thanks mainly to some editions halving the books while others don’t (but this has been mostly eliminated thanks to goodreads) secondly this series is filled with massive scarily big books and from what i have been told a tonne of characters and while that sounds intriguing it defiantly tells me i will want to read  this series all together (because the all have told me by the end you NEED the next book) which is where you have come to the main reason i am not in any rush  to start reading this series. currently we have 5 of the 7 books in the series… this series was started 17 years ago… while this is understandable considering the size of the books when you consider that the last book in the series is not expected for release until 2019 you can understand why i am in no HUGE rush, plus when you add in the fact i am crazily obsessive compulsive about my covers matching it is understandable (particularly when there is over 150 versions of the first book) that i wait until all the books are out before buying a lovely matching set

2 Covenant ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout

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while i did manage to get the first book (half-blood) from the library i did really want to read the entire set together and i had to return it before i collected them all. from the blurb this sounds a lot like Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, a series that i must admit i loved to death. as such i am more than curious about this one (must just remember not to compare them too much. also once again how GORGEOUS are the covers.

1 Percy Jackson and the Olympians ~ Rick Riordan

TLT

while many people are raving about the spin off series The Heroes of Olympus i myself have yet to even read the wonder that (i am sure) is this series. while i loved the movie for the first book (Percy Jackson and the lightning thief) i have been itching to read the original story particularly as it has an entire series for me to immerse myself in.

The Elite

The Elite ~ Kiera Cass

(the selection #2)

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Rating 3.5 Stars

Blurb

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Iléa.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Review

while i did not enjoy this quite as much as the first this is where i feel the Real story is beginning. taking the light frivolous beginning that was the Selection, the elite twists it into something dark. while i must admit i was surprised by some of Maxon’s actions he did always come through in the end and at no point in this book did my loyalty to him change (which is more than i can say for America). She was all over the place and i am getting sick of her to-ing and fro-ing (JUST PICK MAXON HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR YOU). The ending was a shock and i just could not imagine it happening … that being said there were quite a few things that shocked me (even if i may have guessed they would happen). unfortunately some of the magic of the selection was lost, (despite the fact i am still firmly team Maxon) the prince has lost some of his shine, and America’s insecurities and indecisiveness was making me want to slap her (although not as much as i want to slap Celeste) America defiantly has it in her to be a princess but she needs to let go of Aspen (as it does not seem she actually wants him anymore anyway plus he hardly believes in her) and learn to trust Maxon… although admittedly with him still dating 3 other girls i can understand why she doesn’t.

Quotes

“Love is beautiful fear”

“It turns out I’m absolutely terrible at staying away from you. It’s a very serious problem.”

“Sometimes I feel like we’re a knot, too tangled to be taken apart.”

“You know that you’ve found something amazing, and you want to hold on to it forever; and every second after you have it, you fear the moment you might lose it.”

Next Book

The Next and Last book in this Series The One (book #3) is expected to be released on the 6th of May next year

personally i am hoping for a white dress on the cover (you know bridal and all that)

Also By This Author

TS

Wait for You

Wait for You ~Jennifer L. Armentrout

(Wait For You #1)

WFY

Rating 4 Stars

Blurb

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

Review

This book followed the same formula as many New Adult books do. That being said it still created some beautiful and unique moments. Avery annoyed me some times and I did not see the point in half hiding what had happened to her from us readers (because it wasn’t really hidden just vague), Cam however was love at first sight… even if he could be a cocky asshole. This book is just so quotable and I loved Jacob and Brittany because they are just the people I would want as my best friends (and are bloody hilarious). There were some bits that appeared in here that just made no sense to me (such as Avery’s mother… but maybe I have just had to good a home life). The main tip you should take from this is “the way to a man’s heart may be through his stomach but the way to a woman’s is through her sweet tooth.”

Quotes

“You’ve been checking me out, haven’t you? In between your flaming insults? I feel like man candy.”

“My brain was telling me this was a bad idea and I told my brain to shut the fuck up, because it rarely told me anything helpful.”

“We are your friends. It is the law of friendship that you tell us things you don’t want to tell us.”

“Are you done dressing me like I’m your own personal Barbie?”
“Bitch, if you were my Barbie, you’d be half naked. ”

“I would be clapping like a seal right now if I weren’t so fucking hung over, just so you know. Inside, I am doing happy jumping jacks for you with glittery pom poms.”

Next Book

The Novella Trust In Me (#1.5) is due for release October 22nd

while Be With Me (#2) is due to hit shelves Febuary 4th next year

no covers yet but will update when i get them

Also By This Author

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Charade

Charade ~ Nyrae Dawn

(Games #1)

CharadeMock

Rating 2.5 stars

Blurb

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom’s dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it’s what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

Review

I was only going to rate this book 2 stars but then the ending pushed it up. I found I did not really connect with either of the characters and that the book was not quite what i was expecting based on the blurb (or for that matter the happy looking cover). the ending however was touching and I may or may not have shed a few tears. that being said I am not sure if this one is something i would read again. although may still read other books in this series because i have liked this authors other works

Quotes

“Everything’s not always black and white, Princess. Sometimes we have to do shit because there’s not another choice. Maybe you should think about that before you snub your nose at me.”

“Don’t cry, Princess. You know what they say. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince.”

“The cup is half full, sunshine and flowers and I try to act like I agree, but really I’m pissed someone dumped out half of my drink.”

“If you’re cold I’m doing something wrong.”

Next book

the next book Facade (#2) is expected to be released on the 2nd of July

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Also By This Author

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The Selection

The Selection ~ Kiera Cass

(the selection #1)

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Rating 4.5 Stars

Blurb

In a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: to compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s heart. But for America Singer it means turning her back on her secret love, and leaving home for a prize she doesn’t want.

Then America meets Maxon and all her plans start to crumble. Can he life she’s always dreamed of compare to a future she never imagined?

Review

i have to say this is a great beginning to what i hope will be a great series. and i enjoyed this book just as much on the second reading as i did on the first. the idea is wonderful with a dystopia based both on reality TV shows such as the bachelor and on older issues such as caste systems. this leads to the book balancing perfectly between past and future strengthening the feel of a fairytale throughout the book.
defiantly Team Maxon and i think Aspen needs to get over it, HE let
HER go not the other way around plus (despite the name, which admittedly did not annoy me quite as much on the second read through) America would make the perfect princess. that being said i do hope we see Aspen getting a happy ending because he, and his family deserve it.

Quotes

“. . .true love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”

“I hope you find someone you can’t live without.I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it’s like to have to try and live without them.”

“You get confused by crying women, I get confused by walks with princes”

“If you don’t want me to be in love with you, you’re going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I’m having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you.”

Next Book

 The Elite (book #2) was released in April

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Also By This Author

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Rapunzel Untangled

Rapunzel Untangled ~ Cindy C. Bennett

RU

Rating 4.5 Stars

Blurb

Rapunzel is not your average teenager.

For one thing, she has a serious illness that keeps her inside the mysterious Gothel Mansion. And for another, her hair is 15 feet long. Not to mention that she’s also the key to ultimately saving the world from certain destruction. But then she meets a boy named Fane, who changes all she has ever known, and she decides to risk everything familiar to find out who she really is.

Filled with romance, adventure, and mystery, Rapunzel Untangled is one story you won’t want to put down. Discover the true meaning of love and friendship in this modern twist to the classic fairytale.

Review

not only is this one of the best Rapunzel retellings i have read it is the only one that managed to tell the story in a modern setting. until i read this i had no idea how a modern retelling could possibly work. i was pleasantly surprised. Not only were the characters believable but the plot was as well with reasons given as to why Rapunzel had never tried to escape her tower before. Rapunzel’s character grew so much during the story but even in the beginning she was not as weak as many other retelling make her out to be. the twist at the end was a lovely touch and the prince charming character was brilliant.

the only downfalls i found were the rushed ending and the somewhat questionable Facebook meeting.

Quotes

“”why would i date him i like someone else”… “I’m the only someone else you know”

 

Also By This Author

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From Ashes

From Ashes ~ Molly McAdams

From Ashes

Rating 4 Stars

Blurb

When Cassidy Jameson’s best friend Tyler took her to Texas with him when he left for college, she was expecting his cousin, their new roommate, to be a Stetson-wearing cowboy since his family owned a ranch; not this incredibly gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl that seemed to make the world stop whenever she looked at him. Because of her past, she’s only ever trusted two men in her life, Tyler and her dad whom passed away when she was six. But there’s something about Gage that draws her to him in a way she can’t explain, only problem? He’s always telling Tyler that he doesn’t want Cassidy living there and sees her as nothing more than his little sister.

Gage Carson was excited his cousin Tyler was coming to live with, and go to college with him. When he’d called to ask if he could bring his friend Cassi with him, Gage didn’t care. Gage had heard about this mysterious friend since they were kids and felt like he already knew her. Nothing would prepare him for watching her jump out of Ty’s Jeep though. Not only was Cassi the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, but there was something about her that within seconds of meeting her, made Gage want to protect her, and make her his. Too bad Tyler made it a point to remind Gage on a daily basis that he was dating her and she was completely off limits.

Review

As soon as I read the Blurb for this I knew I was going to love it. Yet I was still surprised by the complexity of the story. This was not the trashy Romance I was expecting. It was beautiful in its own way and ugly in others but when the beauty and the ugliness came together the end result was breathtaking. That being said some parts were still less than perfect. The main thing that annoyed me was the characters. Ty was meant to care about Cassidy and claims to love her and yet does not even blink an eye at intentionally hurting her again and again **SPOILER** that being said I am glad that she forgives him and they end up friends again **SPOILER** meanwhile although Cassidy has “never thought of the future” due to her past you would think she would make SOME kind of plans once she gets freedom from it. Instead she seems perfectly happy being the perfect little housewife for her best friend and a guy she believes doesn’t even like her (and eventually their friends as well). Gage well actually he was one of the characters I have little to no complaints about any of his issues do bring the story forward and are actually believable in the situation. The more minor characters have very little information given about them. While they were numerous most of the “friends” blurred into one blob. What I really loved about this book though is I kept expecting it to end even if I had over 100 pages. This tells the story of a whole relationship and doesn’t just peter out when they finally kiss. it shows a not perfect relationship but REAL they have their problems but they work them out… and although reading that it sounds like that should be the boring part it isn’t it kept you on your toes and drew you in. I became really invested in their relationship as I got to know them both more and in reality that is what a true romance does. All the best romances have a little heartbreak.

Quotes

“Whoa, got it bad for your cousin’s girl already, huh? You gonna try to get with that?”I eyed Cassi in Ty’s arms and shook my head as I brought my beer up to take another long drink. “Nope.” Yes, yes, I am.”

“But there are only so many times you can handle heartbreak with someone before you have to start protecting yourself.”

Also By This Author

TCComing soon

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Rant about Novellas

Since i got my e-reader i have been introduced to the wonderful world of novellas.in particular i am referring to those .5 books the short ones that go before a book or between the books of a series…. or do they?

I am never sure weather or not to read these novellas when i read through the series the first time or not. Some novellas such as those included in The Iron Fey Series are just what you would expect of the next book in a series they tell what happens between the books (sure maybe told by a different narrator but still in chronological order) then you have examples such as Caught up in Him, the “prequel” to caught up in us however the entire novella is actually included within the first book. which actually ruined the first book for me because i kept skipping sections of text i had read less than an hour before. there are also rare Novellas such as those in Maria V Snyder’s Study series, which are separate from the story almost entirely and just send the characters from the book on another (admittedly shorter) adventure. Finally you have the novella’s which merely give segments of one of the book from the perspective of a different character however there does not seem to be a convention as to weather this novella should be numbered before or after the text that the scenes come from. now personally i prefer after as is seen in Free Four (#1.5) which is Tobias telling some of the divergent (#1) tale however some authors, such as Kiera Cass (author of the selection), number them before the original text e.g The Prince (#0.5) which mostly takes place during the Selection (#1). for this reason of my first reading of a series i often avoid the Novella’s which i think really is a shame as if they are used properly can add so much more to a series. i am now pondering weather or not to read the Lunar chronicles novellas (which look really good but i don’t want to ruin what looks like a GREAT series).

Cinder

Cinder ~ Marissa Meyer

(Lunar Chronicles #1)

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Rating 4.5 Stars

Blurb

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Review

Gahhh Are you kidding me? THAT is how you end it? the only thing worse would be if you ended it 3 pages earlier.

I must admit it was a horrible moment when i realized there was not enough pages left to finish the the story, because despite the fact that i knew this was the first book in a series i was expecting more of an ending to this fairytale. instead i am left with a cliffhanger that leaves me hunting down the second book that i was not smart enough to get my hands on BEFORE i started reading this one

This was one of the most original Cinderella retellings i have read with the perfect balance of fairytale magic and wonderfully cruel dystopian backdrop hinting at the traditional dark Grimm’s tales. i have never been a huge fan of cyborgs or androids, so despite my usual love for retellings and the glowing reviews i was initially wary starting this book but i was pleasantly surprised with the book being everything that was promised and more

Cinder was a surprising complex character and i must admit it was nice seeing a Cinderella with a backbone. As for prince Kai i was glad to see where this was one of the instances where the “Prince Charming” character was a little more developed however i was a little disappointed when he seemed to follow stereotypes and discriminatory beliefs when the truth came out. I am hoping it is only fear and he will snap out of it by the end of the next book. he is probably just a tad too self-sacrificing but in an emperor that may not be a bad thing.

The two other things i loved about this book were the exerts from the original tale and the introduction of the characters i can only presume to be the stars of the upcoming books. while it doesn’t mean much for this book it will dramatically improve the flow of the series.

Quotes

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

” ‘Why would the prince dance with me?’
‘Because you won’t have grease on your face this time.’ ”

Next Book

after this book there is book #1.5 The Queen’s Army

TQA

and of course book #2 Scarlet

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