Tag Archives: YA

Prince of Never

Book Review: Prince of Never, by Juno Heart

Prince of Never

I won an Audio copy of Juno Heart‘s Prince of Never from the author.

about the book

A fae prince with a poisoned heart. A mortal girl with a magical voice. Neither one believes in fairy tales.

City waitress Lara has the voice of an angel and no idea she’s marked as the fated mate of a silver-eyed royal from another realm. When she falls into Faery and meets an obnoxious huntsman who mistakes her for a troll, she’s amazed to discover he’s the cursed Prince of Air in disguise. Ever’s mother, the queen, is less than impressed. The opposing court of techno-loving Unseelie wants her as their very own pet. And an evil air mage wishes her dead.

Held captive by Elemental fae in the Land of Five, she’s certainly hit rock bottom.

But songs wield power, and Lara happens to be a true diva. Now if only she can use her newfound magical skill to make the Prince of Never a little less attractive. The first thing she wants is to find a way back home, and the last is to fall in love.

Ever and Lara think they know what they want, but destiny and an age-old curse have other ideas.

Book 1, a standalone with a HEA in the Y.A. interconnected series, each one starring a different cruel prince and his human fated mate.

For lovers of Faery. Above all else, romance rules.

my review

Not bad at all, but also not anything too new and exciting. I liked Laura. I liked that the author showed her thought processes. Rather than having her just talk endlessly, for example, we know she’s made a conscious decision to make a point to irritate someone by talking. I liked Ever and enjoyed that the author did a good job showing his feelings change and his own confusion with them. The writing is clean and easy to listen to, and the narrators both did a good job.

However, I’m bummed that the villain and the plot hinge on the cliched spurned woman. *yawn* Laura’s personality mirrors so many other female YA character—kind and giving above all else—so, seen a hundred times before. And Laura seemed able to mouth off to authority without consequence, an irritating trait in YA heroines. Or rather, not in the heroines themselves, but of the authors and writings of such heroines. I always notice when heroines are allowed behaviors no one else is and want to know why. Especially when the hero then loves that same trait in them. Chicken and egg, anyone?

All in all, I enjoyed it and I’d be willing to read another of Heart’s books.

 

a curse so dark and lonely

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer

a curse so dark and lonely

I purchased a copy of A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer.

about the book

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

my review

This was a perfectly passable YA book. It fits the standards of the genre to a T and the writing was skilled enough for a fast reading experience. But I guess I was hoping for something exception. And while it might not be fair to ding a book for that, my disappointment was still very real. I wanted something more than the cliched ‘she’s so special because she’s not like other girls (because other girls are useless in a myriad of way)…he fell in love with her because she’s the only girl to resist his charms…she saved the day by being kind and self-sacrificing…the villain is a scorned woman.’ *Yawn, so many cliches.*

I mean, I liked the characters, Grey especially. If I read the next book it will be wholly to see what happens to him. I appreciated the cerebral palsy and small LGBT rep. As I said, it’s an easy book to read, since it’s nicely crafted. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination a bad YA Beauty and the Beast retelling. It’s just not anything new and exciting either.

 

Review of Shifted Fate (The Wolves of Forest Grove #1), by Elena Lawson

I’m still working on the giant task of thinning my digital bookshelves. I’ve made it almost to the end of the Ms now. But, as I had chores to do today, I did manage to listen to an audiobook. I received an Audible code for a copy of Elena Lawson‘s Shifted Fate.

Description from Goodreads:

Jared Stone is a freaking wolf. And I don’t mean that metaphorically, either…

I thought I had it bad—living in my dead Dad’s old hunting blind in the woods, barely staying alive on apples and ramen…that was before the storm hit and destroyed the only form of shelter I had left.

Enter, Jared. The hottest—and most unavailable—guy at school. Except he wasn’t Jared when he pulled me out of the mud. He wasn’t even human.

As if that wasn’t unsettling enough, when he brought me back to his cabin, I found he wasn’t alone. Another guy, one I’d only ever heard about in whispers beneath the bleachers, was there too. Clayton Armstrong: bad boy extraordinaire. And it turned out, he wasn’t human either.

Mindf*ck, right?

At first, all I want to do is run away. But I have nowhere to go, and for whatever messed up reason, Jared is insistent that I stay. Despite Clay’s loud protests.

So, now I’m stuck in a cabin in the woods with two hot as hell wolf shifters. One who wants to protect me. And another who wants to eat me for lunch…

What could go wrong?

Review:

I’d say this was OK. I’m pretty burned out on YA, but I still liked this enough to tentatively be interested in a sequel. The main character is self-sufficient and makes good decisions. The heroes are adorable and patient in their own ways.

But I do have complaints. One, the main character has a serious case of ‘not like other girls.’ I have to ask, what’s wrong with being like a girl? What does it say about internalized misogyny that young heroines always have to be “unlike other girls.” Second, (going along with the not-like-other-girlness) large parts of her personality aren’t explained. She’s willing to live in a hunting blind in the forest because she doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone. That’s a pretty drastic choice. Her father taught her to hunt and fix motors, etc. This all felt very extreme, like they were Preppers or something. But none of this behavior is ever even addressed.

Third, this is labeled a reverse harem. However, throughout the book, there is only the one guy she is interested in and showing interest in her. Nothing else comes into play until literally the last page. I suspect it will become a reverse harem, but it sure wasn’t here.

Fourth, I thought the whole kidnapping scene broke the pace of the plot and felt out of place. Similarly, the fact that she didn’t guess the twist is pretty unbelievable. It was fairly obvious.

Lastly, the book literally ends when the most interesting thing happens. What felt like it should be midway into a longer, more complete story. As such, I suspect this is more of a serial than a series. I prefer to be warned of this going into a book.

All in all, I didn’t hate it. As I said, I’d read more. But it’s not flawless.