Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ – Finished, and found it okay, but with room for improvement.

“The Art of Truth or Dare” is a YA Contemporary.

Ella is the shy girl—the artistic soul who resigns herself to be a wallflower. Until she finds the King of the school’s sketchbook. As she battles with her art project, her French teacher assigns Alex Bainbridge as Ella’s tutor.

I wanted to love this story—I really did. The Main Character was an art-lover, and her romantic tale with Alex was sweet. They were great together.

But there were so many things that ruined it for me. The two main reason was this:

– The LGBT character: I liked that he was there. But I really didn’t like his attitude or personality. I got his dislike of Alex, but I didn’t think it was fair that he purposely punished Ella for it.

– The obsession with the dead painter was cute at first—even humorous. But his letters and journal entries, made the book seem like I was studying for finals. And there was a lot of letters with the sole purpose of being filler.

I’ve always had a weakness for the nerdy girl who gets with the prince charming. And therefore I had hoped to like this book more.

It is a sweet story. I kinda liked her conversations with her super-idol (the dead painter) and I could easily see how it would have fitted to a situation where the idol was a member of a boyband.

The story started off nice, but those letters, and other entries in italics just snapped me right out of the book.

With that said, it’s not a bad book. I just didn’t care about the painter as much as I cared about the characters.

I would recommend this one for people who enjoy YA love stories. And who doesn’t mind getting an art and history lecture while at it. (I don’t know if the painter actually lived or not, though.)

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Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – Near Perfect, easily one of my all-time favorites.

Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Be warned. I really have no clue what constitutes spoilers nowadays.

“Fairest” is the backstory on the Lunar Chronicles antagonist; Queen Levana—the evil queen. It’s set before the events in Cinder, but I have to agree with the author that it would be good to read in-between “Cress” and “Winter”. This book was what made me devour the rest of the series in two days.

Princess Levana hates the sight of her true self. After an incident when she was a young child, her body is now covered in burns. Hiding behind the glamour from her bio-electric manipulation, she hopes that one day the people of Lunar will forget about her ugly self. Suffering from her beautiful sister’s endless torments, Levana finds solitude in the friendship with a guard whom she has a big crush on. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, she device a plan to get him through manipulation. She just need to look like his deceased wife.

Oh. Wow. I. Can’t. Even.

This book is everything I never knew that I really wanted, needed and desired.

In my reviews of the first three books, I’ve mentioned how much I wished for more information on the character’s past. Their motivations, and what made them to who they are.

And this book did just that, and whoa… Even now—three days after I finished the book—I’m still baffled with feelings over this book.

What I loved the most: Beautifully described, I loved how the author managed to make me feel Levana’s self-loathing without making her whiny. I sympathized with the young princess whose trust was shattered by none other than her older sister.

(view spoiler)

I can’t stress how amazing I found the character development. Often in books, I find that the author doesn’t give their characters enough flaws, but that is not the case here. Levana was crafted to perfection. Her scars, her ambitions, her motivation and even her delusions tugged on my heartstrings.

Alright, I’m going to talk about the plot next, because… feelings. So pardon the spoiler tag.

(view spoiler)

In a way, I think that had she had someone to love her, Levana would have become a great Queen instead of the evil one. Of course, then we wouldn’t have the series, but you know… I’m invested in this character damn.

The plot isn’t cute or lovely at all. But it is amazing.

The story follows a teenage Levana as she nurses her school girl crush on her married guard, tries to avoid her diabolic sister and practices her glamour to perfection.

Many years after the incident, Levana still has nightmares of the time where her sister—Cinder’s mom—held her down as flames licked her skin. We see how she lives in the shadows of her sister, and how she is tormented on an everyday basis.

It wasn’t pleasant to read this story. The bullying from one sister to another. The insecurities. The self-hatred. It made my stomach churn, and while I still hate Levana’s character in the chronicles, it made me want to jump into the book to give the poor princess a hug, and take her far away.

As the story goes on, we see how Levana finally snaps after she meets the wife of her crush—his very pregnant wife. Obsessed, Levana starts spiraling after Winter is born. Taking on the form of his dead wife, Levana basically tortures her crush into her bed. And after that, she forces him to marry her—although, she claims he had a choice, but we all know he hadn’t.

There are so many sides to Levana. She’s smart and ambitious—something her older sister definitely isn’t. When it comes to court business, her words are often overlooked, but it’s clear that she is as manipulative in politics as she is in her everyday life.

When Cinder is born, Levana’s sister—Channary—starts to cough more and more. It is discovered that she has an incurable lung disease, and eventually, Channary passes away.

And that’s how Princess Levana became Queen Regent, as a placeholder until Cinder—or Selene as she is named—is of age to overtake the throne.

The power turns the already delusional girl into a psychopath. Her paranoia grows, and she finds herself envying her step-daughter, wishing that her husband finally gave his heart.

Her envy extends to the baby Princess Selene(Cinder). And she starts dreaming that the girl didn’t exist. Somehow, her daydreams turn into reasoning as to why the true heir had to be killed. And what better way to do it, than with a fire? At least, Levana is merciful enough to let her niece’s life end there—a courtesy that Channary didn’t show Levana.

Of course, us semi-sane people can’t follow that kind of logic. But it becomes her excuse, her reason to kill off the true heir.

After the death of the princess, Levana’s guard husband starts to feel a bit unsettled by the rumors. And it spirals into fights about when he wants to give her his heart for real. After a while it’s clear to Levana that she’ll never receive his love, and then decides to kill him too.

I mean… THAT was clearly the logical thing to do to your so-called beloved. O_o (hide spoiler)]

While the story gives an in-depth look into Levana’s life, we also see how the biological warfare is created in order to take possession of Earth. We see Lunar’s inner workings, and it prepares us pretty well for the last book “Winter” who will follow Levana’s step daughter.

I just… this book is my favorite. By far.

I would recommend this to everyone. Even if you haven’t read the Lunar Chronicles. Since the book is set before the events in “Cinder” it can technically be read as a stand-alone.

Especially to all my writer-friends who might struggle to craft the perfect villain. This story would probably serve as inspiration for many—I know it does for me.

Just…. Read it. You most likely won’t regret it.

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Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – Near Perfect, easily one of my all-time favorites.

Warning: This review contain spoilers. Be warned.

Cinder is the retelling of Cinderella, but set in a futuristic world where a fourth world war has already gone to pass. She’s a mechanic, which is pretty smart considering that she’s a cyborg, and around 36% machine herself.

I have to admit: I’m a sucker for retellings. Whether it’s fairytales or classics—I just love it. There’s something awe inspiring about seeing what different people can do with the same premise. How they all change it to be unique, despite stemming from the same thing.

And, “Cinder” isn’t any different. Whereas, some may argue that the comparisons are sparse, I think it was just the right amount.

The ‘evil’ stepmother, the servant treatment of the main character, the handsome prince, the ball, and the dropped “shoe”.

But, at the same time, the author also changed the different aspects of the story.

– Where in the original Cinderella has two evil step sisters, Cinder has one evil and one good.

– Where in the original Cinderella Is treated like a servant because her father passed, Cinder is treated like a slave because the law dictates that cyborgs aren’t human beings, plus, she’s adopted.

– Where in the original Cinderella has a fairy godmother, Cinder has an android helper.

– Where in the original Cinderella drops a glass shoe as she runs away from the ball, Cinder drops her entire foot. (It’s prosthetic)

It was all incredibly awesome. With an engaging voice, Marissa Meyer managed to create this amazing futuristic society, that seemed believable to a point where it kinda scared me.

I devoured “Cinder” in less than a day, because I simply couldn’t stop. I had to know… more. Just more.

There are so many things I absolutely loved in this book. The characters. The plot. The world building. The writing. I adored everything.

This next section will be inside spoiler tags since I might accidentally spoil some events from the sequel. I’m writing this after I just finished the last book in the series, so my brain is a tad muddled.

I personally would have preferred a few differences. Hence the lost half star in the rating (although, I did round up!) . However, I am willing to admit that it might be slightly biased since it’s probably just that I wanted more.

Garan, Cinder’s adoptive father. Considering that he’s the one who adopted Cinder, I had hoped to know more about him and his motivations/aspirations. However, I know that he was already deceased a short time after the adoption went through, but still… had hoped for a bit more background.

Peony, Cinder’s good step sister. I absolutely adored her, and I found her entire existence refreshing. Like a ray of sunshine in one big shitstorm. However, the scenes with Peony are very sparse. Considering that she was one of the few humans who were actually decent to Cinder, I wanted a bit more of her. And I also think it’s absolutely unfair that she didn’t get to meet Prince Kai.

Lunars, the mysterious gifted moon people. I’m a sucker for world building, and I kinda liked the idea that a colony on the moon changed the DNA of the inhabitants, until it was an entire different race. However, I probably wouldn’t have minded a full on history lesson on all things Lunar.

Ah yes. We can’t have it all, can we? Despite my wishes for more content, I absolutely loved the book. If anything, I can always hope that I get a short story or a novella that will delve into the above mentioned things. Chopchop Marissa Meyer, no dallying. I. Need. More.

If you aren’t sure about this series, try one book—or even one of the free short stories on wattpad—and see if you like it. Personally, I ordered the entire series without having read anything. I’m just lucky it was worth it.

I would recommend this to Sci-fi, Fantasy and YA lovers. It’s truly an amazing series, and I believe both girls and boys will find something to like in this book. Comes highly recommended. To everyone. Go read it. Now.

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Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

My rating: 5 of 5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – Near Perfect, easily one of my all-time favorites.

Warning: There might be spoilers in this review.

“To all the boys I’ve loved before” was hilarious. There’s no other way to describe it. Just flat out funny.

Lara Jean has a secret box with love letters to the boys she’s been in love with. They’re entirely confidential, and is more like a diary than something that should ever be mailed to the boys.

And then they’re mailed out. Her innermost personal feelings about her sister’s boyfriend, the school’s hottest guy, and some others boys.

At first, it took a bit time to get used to the narrative voice, because it sounded so awkward in my head. But after just a few chapters, I was fully pulled into the drama. And, oh god, my stomach was hurting from the moment Lara Jean first is alerted to the fact that the boys have received her love letters.

It was refreshing, light and absolutely mortifying for the poor girl. I really enjoyed watching her suffer in that way. Because she always seemed to fix it in the most unexpected ways.

Other than the main plot itself, I also enjoyed watching as Lara Jean matured. After having depended on her sister for so long, it was nice to see how this catastrophe changed her—and her life—for the better.

I was totally rooting for her to come up on top.

With that said, I don’t know if I want to read the sequel. I really enjoyed the OTP in this book, and it will probably break my heart to watch as the Author tampers with my—and the character’s—poor feels.

I do recommend this book for anyone looking for a light read with some teen romance.

I devoured this book in one day, and it didn’t feel like it dragged on at any point.

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I’m an international reader, and I don’t matter.

TL;DR: Publishers, netgalley, goodreads and amazon sends all us international readers, bloggers and fans this festive message:

It sucks being international when it comes to the bookish community online. It always has been, but even more now—especially now.

Before I start in on my longer rant/ventilation piece/opinions on the subject, I’d like to clarify a few things:

  • I live in Denmark. We have few book cons, all limited to Danish publishers.
  • I’m unemployed, mentally ill and queer with a severe anxiety to top it off.
  • English falls more naturally to me than Danish.
  • I buy a lot of books. Like, a lot.

With those few things out of the way, I will talk about just a few of the ways I just got slapped across my face.

Yes, you read that right: ACROSS MY FACE.

I’ve been online a while. First, I was deeply ingrained into the writing community on wattpad. Then I joined instagram and discovered bookstagram. Finally, I realized that I ramble too much to stay within yhe character limits in captions and got myself this little blog.

All of that, has accumulated over 30k followers across the medias (mostly on wattpad) which are from all over the world.

And while I’m not the biggest, nor the most talented, I believe in my own little corner of the community. We are close, we trust each others opinions and we help each other spread the word worldwide.

Now this is being taken away from us. Let’s do this in alphabetical order:

Goodreads:

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Goodreads started the holiday mood by announcing that:

  • Authors will now have to pay between $109 to $600 in order to host a giveaway—that they already pay and ship themselves.
  • These Giveaways will only include US residents as winners.
  • If you’re an international author, you may also give away your book the winner will stilk be a US resident, though.

For more information in this, please check out: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1108-goodreads-introduces-new-u-s-giveaways-program-a-more-powerful-book-mar

There’s quite a few ways this will affect everyone. Indie and self publisher authors will not have the kind of money to enter. This means that the giveaways will fall largely on the major house that already controls a lot of the market.

Why is that bad? Because it will severely limit the outreach of diverse books—and in particular own voice authors who are already struggling to get a foot in.

It will affect the readers across the world who needs diverse books. And frankly, that’s just a dick bad move on Goodreads part.

I mean, Goodreads boasts of being “the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.

How long do you think that’ll last? I mean, so far the only thing this has accomplished is for me to want to leave GR alltogether.

NetGalley:

Now onto Netgalley. There has been no actual statement as of yet, but if you are on Netgalley, you will see that there’s almost next to no “request this” buttons any longer. Instead, you are stuck with a “wish for it” button which leaves you at the mercy of the publisher’s very own Santa.

I personally stopped using Netgalley when I got truly into bookstagramming because it was easier to showcase physical books. This doesn’t mean that I support this decision. Quite the opposite, actually.

It’s not even about getting the books for free either. It’s about promotion. It’s about sharing a love for books, and Netgalley’s stunt is basically rendering that impossible unless yoi happen to be born in the US.

Publishers:

Don’t worry, this is old news really but I felt it warranted a mention.

I have had it up to here with your poor excuses for not including international readers in your giveaways, your review team and your preorder incentives.

I realise that the people controlling the social medias aren’t in charge, but the “sorry, legal rights” just don’t cut it.

I see you go to book cons across the world and hand ARCS out. I recieve the emails from your international marketings team. I follow international bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers who recieves gift baskets filled with exclusive swag, new edition covers, and it just pisses me off that you can spend that much on a limited promotion, but not on a single giveaway that could include international fans?

We buy, promote and review your books—often combined with a shipping cost that completely kicks our butts just so we can support our faves.

We wanna help with preorders to give debuts and new releases a good start. And what do we get? Nothing. Apart from the fact that we almost never get the books on time for the release, all the swag and merch are just out of reach unless we pay big bucks for something that you are giving away for free in US, UK, AUS and CA.

Yeah, I gotta admit. It sucks being an international reader right now. Because we don’t matter.

Disclaimer: I’m super bitter about this, and I doubt that’ll change anytime soon. Feel free to comment your thoughts below and as always, shares and likes are appreciated.

Discount code, YaY!

Full Disclosure: I’m not a representative of the box, but I will recieve a free box for every sixth person who signs up to bookboxclub using my code MAJA17

Are you a reader?

Do you like Bookboxes?

Are you interested in joining an online Bookclub?

If you can answer yes to any—or all—of the above, then you’re my kind of person. Let’s be besties. 😄

You might have seen my massive unboxing post A Year With Bookboxclub and contemplated whether you should try it out.

Obviously, I think you should. And as another incentive, you can use MAJA17 for a discount on your first box. This is a code you can use whenever you want if you see a theme that you like.

So why am I sharing this now?

Because the December box sounds so amazing that I’ll think you’ll regret not getting it if you miss out. So let me tell you about it:

The theme is “WINTER FAIRYTALES” and will include the two first books in a fantasy series that’s described as perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor and Naomi Novik.

The first book is recently released in paperback, while the sequel doesn’t come out in the UK until January 2018.

After reading, you’ll have the opportunity to join the bookboxclub exclusive clubhouse for a chat with the author. In the box you’ll recieve a lovely scrolled invitation with a date and time.

That sounds amazing, right? BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE:

Apart from the two books, you’ll also recieve a wonderful selection of goodies and swag. For example, one of the amazingly talented suppliers will be T. J. Lubrano! 😃

^Two of my favorite designs by TJ.

All of this, is of course not free. The box costs £27.99 which includes shipping in the UK. They do ship worlwide, though. And depending on where you live, the shipping cost will be between £12.50 to £18.15.

Of course it will be just a tad cheaper if you use MAJA17. 😉

The book is of course a surprise, BUT if you’re curious, you can try messaging me on my instagram or on Facebook, and I’ll give you my guess. (no guarantees, but I’m 99% certain)

Edit: there’s only a limited number of boxes, so you definitely want to get in there fast for this one.

Anywho, have a lovely day. ❤️

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What you shouldn’t expect from this book

– A complex read with lots of teenage angst, dealing with realistic day-to-day life in a way that tugs at emotions.

What you can expect:

– A humorous account of an unlikely situation, for an unlikely person.

– A fairytale-like romance where the geek finds her Prince Charming.

– A story that tackles the issue of bullying in a way that makes you think as an afterthought.

Harriet Manners is a geek. When she is accidentally spotted and offered a modelling deal, her life is turned upside down. The only problem is that no one else seems to realize this.

Written in a hilarious narrative, riddled with random facts and quotable one liners, this book is in one word: easy.

It’s the book you might consider giving to younger teens. Geek Girl touches on the topics of bullying in a way that comes off as light, but still showing how much it can affect people. I liked that.

But it isn’t just for teens, though. The random facts, the humor and of course the swoon worthy guy, was all pretty awesome for me too. Plus, it was just plain fluff. A feel good book that might serve as an appetizer in between two heavier books.

Recommended for: Everyone. You and you, and you over there. Chances are there’s something you’ll enjoy in this book. And if you don’t, you might know someone who would. I honestly believe that this kind of book is a need, and I’ll probably end up throwing this as my sister at the first given moment.

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My Bookishland Box experience

It’s no secret that I am a huge book box fan. I’m bookishaddicted after all.

So I try a lot of bookish boxes. Not every box is a complete hit, of course. Some have themes I’m not fond of, some include fandoms I’m not in. And it happens that I get a duplicate book.

So imagine my joy, when I find a box where I can, not only choose my own theme, but also the book? 😍

Ohhh, right?

My request was fairly simple: I wanted An Enchantment of Ravens and the theme should be Fairies, since that’s what appears in the book, as well.

Bookishland claims to offer a unique hand decorated box with a selection of handmade and exclusive goodies. Imagine the possibilities of this.

Furthermore, my order confirmation clearly states in very simple terms what I’ve ordered.

And for that price 70€ (with a 2€ discount, though) I kinda expect to be dazzled. I expected a box that I could proudly display on my shelves alongside all of the others. I expected a good not damaged book with some cool fairy-like items.

But… I didn’t get that. At all. Instead, the box I recieved looked like this:

^Not exactly fairy themed.

^Maybe there’s a fairy with some striped socks who really likes pumpkins?

^Ah, okay. Nevermind then.

Confused, I opened the box, and the very first item I saw was the book. It was wrapped in brown paper, and I eagerly opened it. And… well… The book was the right one.

However, in the middle of the cover was a scratch where the cover was literally scratched off, and the dust cover was bent.

I’d like to say, that I’m not super hung up on used or slightly damaged books. I know that accidents can happen during shipping, but come on… The book was wrapped. There was no tear on the paper. So… I’m allowed to be disappointed, right? Especially because of the price.

Already disappointed, I unboxed the rest, wondering what fairy items would be included. I mean, it was a pretty wide theme. Expecting anything from Tinkerbell to Sarah J Maas, I hoped that these exclusive and handmade items would improve the box, just a bit.

Instead, this is what I got:

^A handrawn card with a pumpkin man and ghosts.

^A flower headband with a black veil

^A glass bottle with some used pistachio shells and what I assume is purple potpourri.

^A candle (made in china)

^A hand made wooden bookmark with a chipped edge.

^Some pop rocks? O_o

^And a pumpkin totebag, which at first I thought was handmade, but by closer inspection is probably storebought at like a french equivalent of a dollar-store.

All in all, this was what my 68€ got me:

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I was not satisfied.

Halloween might have spread to Denmark’s stores, but it is not a holiday I celebrate at all. I’m a horrible chicken and generally steer clear of everything even remotely horror-ish. Like, I recognized her theme as “I put a spell on you” from Hocus Pocus, and specifically didn’t order that box.

So I reach out to the owner on instagram, politely of course, and ask if a mistake has been made.

I would show you the reply, but unfortunately I can’t because I don’t have access to the messages after the owner blocked me. However, the gist of it was this:

The owner said that the book had been fine when shipped so the damage would have happened during shipping. – Not sure how, since it was wrapped within a box, that was wrapped within a box. But fair enough.

That she does not accept returns – this is also stated in her Terms of Service that I read through, just in case. – It specifically mentions personalised items, which my order should have been.

That she’d been in the hospital for a month, so someone else had handled my order. – At this point I was like: Wut? because how can she say my book wasn’t damaged if she didn’t handle it? But okay… It was written in a broken english and I figured it might be a fault in translation.

That she could give me a discount on the next box. – This seems to be a standard response, really. But considering that I paid 68€ for what adds up to a damaged book, I’m not exactly keen to order another box. Ever. That’s a lot of money, and it didn’t even SEEM like she’d tried to fullfill my order.

So I tell her that I won’t have money to spend on another box, so maybe a partial refund would work for us both. She says that she’ll think up a solution. Then I ease up. Wishes her good health and agrees to wait until she can figure a solution. I figure she’d get back to me relatively fast since she said she had to talk to her work and then get back to me. So I wait.

Then… Nothing.

The above conversation happened Wednesday. I write to her again Friday, asking if she’s home from hospital. To which she answers not yet.

So I wait again.

Luls it over for myself, and tries to ease her troubles by thinking up a solution that seems fair for both of us.

I take the Retail Price on the back of the book 15€ and considers the candle for maybe 5€, then add a reasonable shipping price (Parcels sent with Lettermail is roughly 13€ for a parcel up to 2kg worldwide in Denmark) and suggest that she can refund me 30€ for the items that I didn’t order. I ask if this would seem okay to her, and if not if she has any suggestions.

To which I get this response:

I respond again, explaining that I did not order the Halloween box, and begs her to at least work with me to figure out a solution.

And that’s when she blocks me. No response. Just… gone. I look at her account and all I see is this:

I could have passed off the box as an honest mistake. I could have been satisfied with a partial refund. But that block? To me, it just proves that the owner had no intention to work it out with me, so apart from wasting my money, she also wasted my time with excuses.

Tomorrow I’ll be filing a dispute with my bank, providing all the information I also shared here, and hopefully I’ll be able to get a full refund.

Even if I don’t, though. I hope you guys stay safe and steer clear of this business. There are a ton of other amazing book subscriptions (and I’ll be glad to recommend any if you like).

Please, if you know any book box addicts, or book lovers. Share this around as a warning, because I’d hate if this happened to anyone else.

Review: Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is NOT a Young Adult book, this is ADULT Erotica, so please steer clear if you’re uncomfortable / underage.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – Near Perfect, easily one of my all-time favorites.

(If it was possible, I’d give it 4,5 stars. Mostly because there were some things I absolutely didn’t like.However, the writing made me round up instead of down)

Trigger Warning: Rape

“Captive Prince” is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. It’s intended for mature audiences, and depicts the growing sexual relationship between two princes.

Beware of possible spoilers

When Prince Damianos’ jealous half brother usurps the throne, Damianos is captured and sent to be the pleasure slave of a prince in the neighboring country—the one man who hates him more than anyone else.

The simple way to describe my opinion about this book is this: I loved liked it.

There were things that made me queasy, that made me wish the author had chosen a different approach, and things I flat out chose to omit from my head for the rest of the book in order to enjoy the book.

Thoughts while reading:

➤ That is one crappy half brother. The idea that brothers fight for the throne isn’t exactly new, though.

➤ A pleasure slave? O.o

➤ So, wait… They’re bringing him to the brother of a man he is celebrated for killing? That’s cold.

➤ Ouch.

➤ Rape is not sexy. I repeat; rape is

not

sexy. And frankly, it’s a kinda weird form of entertainment. I much prefer cable.

➤ Not much fantasy around, is there? Apart from the names, this could probably count as a historical novel. I wouldn’t be surprised if anything similar has happened.

This next part is what I like to call “The Spoilery Bit”. It’s where I delve deeper into my thoughts on the book. Only continue if you don’t mind spoilers.

✧ First thing first: I am well aware that rape is a fantasy among many people. The difference between fantasy and reality is the fact that in the fantasy, there are some kind of control. While it may be somewhat sexy to be helpless in the arms of this super hot, saucy sex god who can ignite a fire in your loins, then most people will agree that to be forced, hurt and violated by some creepo person: that isn’t sexy at all.

✧ Because I don’t find the idea of rape particularly appealing, I deliberately decided to ignore that scene in order to enjoy the rest of the book. Apart from that particular part, I enjoyed the rest of the plot.

✧ The story starts with Damen being captured and shipped off to be Prince Laurent’s slave. The first couple of chapters explains what happened, and why being left alive might be even more cruel than death. Apparently, Damen killed the oldest Prince of the neighboring country in battle. Which makes him the killer of his new owner’s big brother.

✧ I know I already mentioned the rape part, but really… it bugged me. Not just because of the content, but because it really wasn’t needed. The whole idea of pleasure slaves isn’t exactly something new. And in real life, regular slaves were beaten and raped, as well. My issue is that the character I’m supposed to root for is portrayed with a questionable morality when he not only ignores, but even supports an instance of rape. Even though he truly hates the person, it still makes me queasy. Had that particular part not been there, this book would, in my opinion, have been better.

✧ I enjoyed the way that Laurent slowly came to not necessarily trust, but rely on Damen. It was slow growing, and with my mind shutting off the bad part, it seemed almost realistic that two enemies would form a bond that way.

All in all, I enjoyed the book a lot. The characters were interesting, and the writing on point.

Recommended for: To be honest, I find it hard to recommend this book. Mostly because the content isn’t for everyone. I enjoyed it, sure. But I know that a lot of people wouldn’t.

But if you want a well-written story about two males who slowly grows to form a sort of friendship, then this story might be for you. It is not a romance at this point, though. If that’s what you want, I’d suggest reading on to the sequel, or choose something else.

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Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love Story” is—in it’s essence—a story about a girl who wanted to follow her own dreams, instead of taking over the family ranch like her Grandmother wants.

Love Story” is also the story of Erin, who nurses a crush on her childhood friend—at least the version of him in her own stories.

My thoughts:

This is my first Jennifer Echols book. I have others on my shelves, but this one spoke to me first. (Not literally… it’s paper)

Erin has lost her inheritance because she wanted to pursue her own dreams. Packing up her stuff, she ran off to New York to do the college thing. One day, in creative writing, the main character of her own romance fiction steps in the door—but he is far from the romantic hero.

In reality, Hunter is the guy who will inherit instead of Erin.

There were stuff that annoyed me, which is why I only gave it four stars. This has nothing to do with the writing—I enjoyed that. But more about the characters rubbing me the wrong way.

It is a light read, though. And very enjoyable all in all.

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