Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told … until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from WINTER, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


This book probably has the most insane villain in young adult.

Or…I think it does…. *pouts and taps her chin with her finger*

*The Courtney Love Stare*

This novella is the story of how Levana became Queen of Luna and slowly spiraled into the deep despair of insanity. There is no possibility that she’s just evil. The way she makes decisions is more than just irrational behavior.

Marissa Meyer writes with beauty and darkness. Her prose makes you want to read more no matter how late into the night. She’s seductively talented at pacing. The authors I love most excel at pacing and writing down genuine emotion: Karen Marie Moning, J.K. Rowling, and Melina Marchetta are among my favorites who master this. Meyer made me pay attention to her writing more than anything. The characters developed in a way that made me feel the drama unfold as if I were watching them through a mirror (Do you get the reference. Tee Hee!). They walked into a scene and they shouted and screamed yelling at me to pay attention. They were bitchy and I listened.

We start with Levana at the age of sixteen. Levana has always been ugly and grotesque beneath her alluring glamour. Her body is ridden with scars.

We see the culture and people of Luna. The castle, the technology, the traditions, the glamours and everything that spells Sexy Space Aliens. Let’s face it, the aliens are sexy. Of course, it’s because of their glamours. It’s like an entire planet of hunky and curvy models. Karl Lagerfield would have a field day.

*Karl wiggles eyebrows “Sexy Aliens, huh?”

Levana is the type of person I would normally hate to read about, if she were the main character of a full length novel. If it were just for her scars, I’d be shipping it faster than UPS. But, her decisions are more than just evil. I love villains. They’re gross. They hate people without reason. They get in your face and stick sharp objects into random strangers. They are so fucking badass. But, Levana is the type of villain that I can’t like. This book did not make me sympathize with her. I am a cold hearted bitch. I do not care about characters unless they give me a valid reason for their actions. Levana never did this. But, I’m not blaming the book for this. This is the point of view of the villain. Therefore, you’re meant to hate her.

Okay, here comes the part where I have to separate myself apart from other reviews as: the reviewer who gave Fairest a bad grade. The pressure to like this book was really stressing me out. I got to a certain point in the book where I came to the conclusion I would have to mention the “bad things Brigid didn’t like”. The more I thought about it, the more it made me hesitant to read more. Once I finished the book, I put it down with a disappointed “crap.”

SURPRISE!!!!!

I felt like this because I keep seeing friends on Goodreads, twitterians (what I call twitter people. Heh), and other bloggers rate this book four or five stars. One after another, those reviews came. I want to follow those reviewers. I want to give this book a good grade, but I’m unable to do so. I have too many problems that I won’t forgive.

I have a list:

1. The slut shaming:

This books intent is to let the reader to understand the villain. Its intent is also to show what makes Levana the bad guy. My personal opinion is that the slut shaming in this book is presented as a way to show how twisted, sadistic, mean, and disillusioned Levana is:

She had once told Levana that she felt queenly having to lift her skirts as she went up and down the stairs. It had taken all of Levana’s efforts not to ask if that was the same reason she lifted her skirts all those other times too.

The problem with this is that slut shaming is used as a device that makes the issue belittled, undermined, and ignored as a critical issue in today’s society. The most small and inconsequential sentences can be attributed to slut shaming, and often they are:

It was easy to tell who would be warming her sister’s bed that night.

Small and insignificant they may seem, but there is a bigger issue that lies behind that sentence. A lot of people write off this issue as joke or a silly female idea. One of my status updates on Goodreads had a comment from a guy asking me if slut shaming was a “pinball machine.” We see it everyday. I see it in real life and online almost every fucking single day. The author pushes aside the reality of this societal problem as a way to use it for her character’s personality. I refuse to justify this just because it’s the villain, whether I like her or not is not the issue.

2. The portrayal of the selfish and beautiful bitch sister:

Young Adult is a genre that is dearly close to my heart, yet I have so many misgivings and hatred toward certain things, one of them I’ve already mentioned. The girl on girl hate that is often in the novels is another. Rarely do we find friendships or girls being kind and generous towards one another in this genre, and many of the other genres. The irony is that the genres targeted towards women are usually the ones that have the most slut shaming and girl on girl hate.

Channary is portrayed as the selfish, jealous, egotistical older sister who obsesses with her looks in almost every scene. She’s a bitch, and she’s meant to be. Again, just because this is in the POV of Levana doesn’t mean I can excuse. This is not a justifiable reason.

example one: 

“Why aren’t there any mirrors in here? I want to see how beautiful I look for my tear-filled performance.”

example two:

 Then, quick as a viper, Channary backhanded Levana across the face, sending her stumbling into one of the bedposts. 

*Beyonce snappy fingers* 

3. The unrealistic actions of the characters

 I’m going to have to put this section in spoilers. There’s just no way to prevent spoilers. I’m going to put this section in black highlight. Just highlight the black and you’ll be able to see the spoilers.

Unless you’ve read the book please don’t read this section:

Those of you who’ve read the novella know that Channary is very spoiled and thinks only of herself. Of course, she does. She’s constantly looking in the mirror, yelling, and showing cruelty towards servants. She’s a mean bitch. Ever since Levana was little, Channary has bullied and pushed Levana into doing things that could only be cruel and sadistic. We learn the way Levana receives her scars: her sister in a random act of cruelty pushes part of Levana’s body into the fire. She burns so bad that she glamours herself every second of her life to hide herself from others and from herself.

My grievance with this is that psychologically, a child who is a spoiled brat doesn’t just push her sister into a fire because she’s supposedly cruel. If she’s cruel enough to push her into a fire, there is something psychologically wrong to the point where she would have to be considered insane. There is no development or explanation in the text that convinces the reader that Channary is mentally ill. Obviously, we know that Levana is. In comparison, Levana actually changes to let us know when and how she becomes insane. She’s delusional and convinces herself of things that a normal person wouldn’t. She manipulates and coerces others and herself into believing she’s in love with a man she barely knows. She tricks a man into believing he’s attracted to her. In her obsession, she becomes cruel and eventually mad. This, we did not get from Channary. We didn’t get any indication that she was mentally ill. Instead, we’re told she’s selfish, mean, and cruel.
4. The plot that disappeared:

The plot was Levana, her character, and her past. That’s it.

Yeah…not a plot.

I couldn’t pick out an actual consistent and integral plot in this novella. She was the plot. I’m having a difficult time deciding if I can forgive this. Can I mark this as a reason to lower my grade of this book, even though it’s not a full length novel? I’m wrestling with this. I’m not sure if I can let this go because it’s only a novella. I’m mentioning to let you guys know about and decide for yourself.

That moment you realize you’re a lonely ass reviewer. The reviewer that was disappointed by a book everyone loved.

*I’m a fucking rainbow cat*

YEAH. THAT. 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine highlighting upcoming releases we’re looking forward to.



Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.


I get very giddy about high fantasy Young Adult novels. It’s like being able to snap your fingers and have a triple espresso. There are infinite possibilities here and I can’t sit here make them all up.  It’s just a magical feeling.

That name is so historical and victorian, it’s hilarious. I love hysterical names in Young Adult. This will be a great read for sure.

That is a very interesting concept: a world where magic isn’t permitted. How Meadows will tackle this is beyond me. I just imagine her wrestling with an elephant of a story. Oh yeah. It’s on big badass animals. Meadows’s claws will come out, dear creatures of today. A world like that? That takes some serious wording.

My only worry is that the “Princess” will turn into a Special Snowflake. I don’t like a main character that tries to get the reader to sympathize with her by slut shaming, being the poor rich girl, or even GASP have the love interest save her. I’m a demon when writing reviews and it will show, if this happens. Please don’t let this happen. I beg of you.

IT’S NO JOKE HOW MUCH I’M CAPTIVATED BY THIS PREMISE. A DRAGON COULD  SHIT GLITTER AND I WOULDN’T GLANCE THE OTHER WAY.


Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen). Visit her at http://www.jodimeadows.com

4 Star Review: The Falconer

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale.

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title — and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She’s leading a double life: She has the rare ability to sense the sìthichean — the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans — and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons — from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols — ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with the gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder — but she’ll have to save the world first.


There’s blood coming from my eyes. It drips down my cheeks and flows down my neck. It’s coming in large spurts and gulps. I touch my neck and discover it’s not coming from only my eyes, but my neck. Blood sprays out like a fucking squirt gun. I’m so shocked by the ending that I’m numb. I’m so torn apart that I don’t feel the pain.

 I can see why the author’s hair is the color of blood. She must die her hair with the blood of her readers with a cliffhanger like that. Scary lass.

I’m sorry you guys had to read my awful attempt at writing (Edit: I am editing this and I’m annoyed). I’m one of the few bloggers that doesn’t want to be a writer. I’m like a stray wolf. Almost every blogger I’ve come in contact with is trying to get published. It’s a lonely realization.

I’m not sure about this, but I’m pretty sure my brain cells burst like an atomic bomb after reading this book (edit: Um..??????). This book was just pure unadulterated fun. I was skipping the entire time. My enjoyment level was catatonic.

Usually when we read a review and they say “the MC is so badass” we roll our eyes right? Once we actually read that book, we sit there completely disappointed because the MC ended up only killing a few creatures of terror. Not Aileana. She kills mercilessly. I can’t even list how many faeries we get to see her kill. The author is very poetic about blood and guts and explosions and BLOOD ON HER KNIFE!

I swing the hammer back and slam it into the redcap’s temple. Blood bursts at me, splatters warm across my face. And a single thought echoes in my mind: More. 

My god. It’s beautiful the way she describes the kills. She is a bloodthirsty badass bitch in truer ways than any other Young Adult heroine. This is no Throne of Glass, where the MC brags about how many people she’s killed. There is no past tense or off the scene killing. It’s present and it’s delicious.

Her name is Aileana. She’s vengeful, distrusting, and has a taste for blood. She’s a talented inventor. She even makes weapons on the side, when she’s nervous or upset. She’s one of those shameless heroines that doesn’t care about gossip, popularity, or propriety. Some people have grumbled about Aileana’s carelessness for not caring for reputation as a society miss, but I love that it doesn’t matter to her. She doesn’t intend to get married or have children. She doesn’t like her title, but she doesn’t whine about either.

I’m a ruined girl who made her choice. This is who I am: a night creature who thrives on death and destruction.

Her duty is killing Faeries. She’s a Falconer, which is like the faerie equivalent of a Slayer. That’s where her responsibilities lay. I appreciate a heroine that doesn’t want to be part of society. Since this is historical fantasy and not a historical, I felt it fit. I  could get behind her ballsy nature to prefer mutilation to dancing with suitors. She’s always running off to kill faeries in the middle of a party, returning with rips in her dress and her hair in disarray (edit: hell if I had to wear big fat silk dresses, I would start killing people too).

Aileana’s development in this book is something that I rarely find in Young Adult fiction. First, she’s badass and refuses to believe she’s anything except strong. I love this type of confidence:

I lean in, indecently close. “You underestimate me,” I whisper. “And that is a mistake.”

Confident heroines should be more apparent in Young Adult fiction. Her character develops slowly and surely, where she’s faced with the fact that she’s not as strong and competent as she made herself out to be. She learns to trust her friends with her secrets. There is no girl hate in this book. She has a best friend, and spoiler: her friend doesn’t stab her in the back.There is something really wrong with Young Adult in that I have to mention that little bit.

Look guys. I know that I like books where romance is secondary and the plot is the basis. This is also true with this book. The romance is definitely not the focus. But, um….sexy times guys. Man oh man do I love the romantic times in this book. There were times where I was turned on by the fight scenes and the blood. Either I’m a fucking psycho (edit: I am seriously considering my sanity right now) or the author was turned on by the sexy fight scenes (edit: Elizabeth May if you are reading this, please forgive me. I’m pretty sure I was…not sober) herself. I’m just…I..*fans self*

(edit: YEP. There may have been alcohol involved when writing this paragraph).

Kiaran stands in the hallway, soaked through from the downpour, hand braced…

*smirks* I’ll just leave it there to tease you guys. (edit: WHAT WAS I DRINKING? My god..is that Britney Spears? You hate BS.)

The problems I had with this book is that the world building was messy. It was full of depth and intricately interesting. Yet, I had a hard time grasping onto it which usually tells me that the world has chinks in its armor. There were certain things, such as the mechanical spiders, that could have used more explaining. The world could have been more grounded, especially when it came to the city of Edinburgh. The pronunciation in this book is just difficult. That’s not a criticism. It’s just difficult is all. The mechanics of the world are left alone. Oh and by the by: the author has told me that this isn’t steampunk. That’s what her publisher called it, but she looks at it as historical fantasy.

Aileana would occasionally do something in the realm of stupidity (edit: Hey. Past me. Listen up idiot. You jump off…oh spoiler. OOPS.) and I didn’t really get down (Edit: HA! get down…OH GOD.) with that. For example, she killed faeries without her ancient mentor knowing and this has serious repercussions. Sometimes she’ll rush (edit: is that a sexual euphemism? I really shouldn’t drink and review) into things and not go over them in her head. Although, there really was no way for her to plan those things since there was nothing she could plan. But, I still had a problem with it. She’s a bit like Buffy when it comes to doing things right then and there. But I understand why this happened, she’s only had a year of training from Kiaran.

Aileana felt too perfect at times. I really think her talents in creating new weapons is badass, but I don’t think she fucked up enough. Maybe I’m being cynical here, but I feel like a heroine needs to be right in the middle between being confident enough and a fuck up. At least, at the start of the book. I have some quibbles (edit: What are you British? *head desk*) about her inventor shenanigans. Most of her inventions I could buy into, but a few I didn’t. Like the secret passage in her room. That sort of thing involves architecture and things completely beyond her realm of knowledge and ability. Secondly, the floating hand (edit: I WOULD KILL FOR THIS) that delivers books to you. Lastly, the flying machine. That’s a little too much bullcrap for me.

This book is a new favorite of mine and little (Edit: liar liar pants on fire) of it has to do with the fact that it is a good substitute for the hellish fart cake (edit: BURN YOUR SOUL YOU WORDLESS MANIAC): Burned by Karen Marie Moning. This book has similarities to the Fever series, but not so much that it became tedious. Instead of being annoyed by that, I was rooting for how similar it was. This is the best fan fiction of the Fever series you will ever read. Kiaran is like Barrons minus the misogynism and dominance over the Main Character. Aileana has similarities to Mac, but is vastly different. She’s not a spoiled brat, she’s badass in a competent and intelligent manor, and she rarely mentions what she looks like.

This book was my crack and Lizzie Bennet says it better than I ever could:

Aussie Authors with an A

Aussie day is coming. Aussie day is coming *she sings awkwardly*

Shuffles her feet. She stops. Stares uncomfortably at the people around her. Why are they staring at her? Oh yeah….because she’s an American.

YEAH…..

An American excited for Australia day? What is this bullcrap.

Ahem. Despite the fact that I’m American and generally I’m not supposed to celebrate this lovely day, I am going to celebrate this beautiful day. I don’t give a fuck. I’m going to sit and read an Australian Author’s book. I got permission, guys. I got it from the most Australian person in the YA book community: Kat Kennedy of the cuddlebuggery.

It is going to happen.

Whether you choose to do this crazy thing with me or not, I wanted to highlight some books written by Aussies. There are a lot of great books by Australians. I know that as an American myself, I don’t always think about reading books that aren’t published by an American publisher. American publishers are always in our face. Read this. Read this. How about some more TSTL heroines guys? SNOWFLAKES ANYONE? Hmmmmm….

Little do we think of the authors across the pond. I know it may not seem like that big of a deal, but those authors have a very difficult time making a name for themselves. I think it’s important to give voice to authors you may not have heard about. Some of the authors I’m going to list are well known and some of them are a little less well known:

1. It would be sacrilege not to mention: Melina Marchetta

 I could no longer call myself a decent human being if I left her out.

Creator of the Lumatere Chronicles, among others, Melina Marchetta has created the best and most amazing high fantasy Young Adult series I’ve ever read. She weaves, plots, and writes genuine emotion on the page like a master. She’s wildly known as a manipulator. You think you know the characters in Finnikin of the Rock and then suddenly you don’t. I highly recommend this series to both YA readers and fantasy readers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melina Marchetta’s novels have been published in eighteen countries and in seventeen languages. Melina’s first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction when it was published, winning the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award for Older Readers among many others. It was also released as an award-winning film, winning an AFI Award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay, as well as the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.


2. Amie Kaufman: Co-Author of space shenanigans

Now. I haven’t read this author yet. Only one of these authors is Australian. Amie Kaufman is the co-author of the Starbound Trilogy. She writes it with Meagan Spooner. It’s supposed to be this epic space drama. Think Titanic in space. We will go down with this ship. Do not mock the Titanic of this book. I’ll be sure to write a review of this ship.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World) and The Illuminae Files trilogy (Illuminae). She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.


3. Alison Goodman: Writing Cross Dressing Heroines since 2008

Alison Goodman tells the tale of a cross dressing heroine in a fantasy world very similar to China. Swordfights. Gender roles.

Here’s a great review of Eon. It’s the review that has inspired me to read this book and this author.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alison is the author of EON and EONA, a New York Times Bestselling fantasy duology which has sold into seventeen countries and been translated into ten languages. EON was short-listed for Victorian, NSW, and WA Premier’s Literary awards, and won the 2008 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. It was also listed as an American Library Association Best Young Adult Book (2010), a James Tiptree Jr. Honour book, and a CBCA Notable Book.

Alison’s first novel, Singing the Dogstar Blues, won the 1998 Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and was also listed as an American Library Association Best Book (2004) and CBCA Notable Book. Her second novel, a crime thriller titled Killing the Rabbit, was published in the USA and shortlisted for the 2007 Davitt Award.

Alison was a D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and holds a Master of Arts. She lives in Australia with her husband and their Machiavellian Jack Russell Terrier, and is currently working on a new supernatural series.

Visit Alison’s website at http://www.alisongoodman.com.au


4. Shirley Marr: writer of chaos and dramatic bitches

I came across Shirley Marr about a year ago. I haven’t read her book Fury yet, much to my dismay. There. Are. So. Many. Great. Reviews. But lucky me, my birthday is coming up and guess what this poor University student asked for? nudge. nudge.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shirley Marr is an Australian author of contemporary Young Adult fiction who specialises in “writing about and for Little Lady Macbeths”. She arrived on the scene in 2010 when her manuscript was plucked out of a slush pile and published by Black Dog Books (now an imprint of Walker Books). The resulting novel, Fury, is a dark and funny murder story narrated by a petulant sixteen-year-old mean girl and has been described as “like Heathers as directed by Sofia Coppola” and developed a cult following.

Her difficult second novel, Preloved, was published in 2012 and is a paranormal love story for girls who don’t like paranormal love stories. It marks a departure from her dark roots and showcases the “B Side” of Shirley – which is closer to her own personality – softer, fresher and more youthful.

Shirley is currently working on her third untitled novel, which promises a return to bad girls, drama, revenge and intrigue. She wouldn’t mind if she alternated between light & dark with each subsequent novel, ‘cos just like chocolate, she likes both.

She is the only person she knows who has ever been kicked out of a bookstore for disruptive behaviour.


5. Michael Adams: writer of insane post-apocalyptic Young Adult novels

I recently put this author’s book on my NEED-MORE-THAN-MOST list. I just can’t handle the waiting. I’ve ordered his book from Fishpond and it’s….I just…I feel like I’m going to explode. This could be a good or bad thing, considering I’m waiting for a post-apocalyptic book. People dying is kinda the point, isn’t it? And…they are usually painful and intense, so there you go. Explode away, Brigid.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael Adams has been a restaurant dishwasher, television host, ice-cream scooper, toilet scrubber, magazine journalist, ecohouse lab rat, film reviewer, social media curator, telemarketing jerk, reality TV scribe and B-movie zombie. This one time, he watched bad movies at the rate of one per day for an entire year and wrote a book about the traumatic experience, which is called Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies. Michael lives in the Blue Mountains, NSW, with his partner, daughter, one dog, two cats and an average of three supersized spiders. The Last Girl is his first novel.


Some of these authors I’ve read and some I haven’t, but I will be reading all of these authors in the near future. Bring your alcohol (provided you are of age), bring your sailor mouth, and pull up a chair. Enjoy a day of reading or doing other equally beautiful things. None is better than reading, though. Just saying.

Peace out ladies and gents.

Waiting On Wednesday: The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine highlighting the upcoming releases we’re most looking forward to.


My name is Lady Aileana Kameron.
First the fae murdered my mother. Then they destroyed my world.
Now I’m fighting for more than revenge.

Aileana took a stand against the Wild Hunt, and she lost everything: her home, her family and her friends. Held captive by her enemy, and tormenting herself over her failure, escape seems like only the faintest possibility. But when she gets her chance, she seizes it . . . to rejoin a world devastated by war.

The future is bleak. Hunted by the fae, running for her life, Aileana has only a few options left. Trying to become part of a society scarred by – and hiding from – the Wild Hunt; trusting that a fragile alliance with the fae will save her; or walking the most dangerous path at all: coming into her own powers as the last of the Falconers . . .


That cover is so Buffy. BUFFY ALL THE WAY. 

Cover is badass and therefore I must have it. It says a hell of a lot that I’m featuring this book as my Waiting On Wednesday when I haven’t even finished with the first book yet. It is so good. It’s one of those books that I don’t want to stop reading but I have to because, you know, LIFE.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth May was born in California, where she lived during her formative years before moving to Scotland. She is currently working on her PhD at the University of St Andrews. When she isn’t writing or doing academics, she can be found hiking through the Scottish heather with a camera in hand.
She currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her husband. THE FALCONER is her début novel. For more information, follow her on Twitter @_ElizabethMay or visit her website http://www.elizabethmaywrites.com

4 Star Review: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys’ school that’s pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.


Melina Marchetta is wicked awesome in her malicious power to make people feel all the SOBS AND PAIN!

Bare with me here people. Let’s say that one day you wake up. The sun is shining, the air is clean, and your nameless pet licks you on the face. You stretch your arms and feel every muscle in your body relax. Mr. Sandman blessed you with the best night sleep of your life. You walk to the front door. You slowly turn that handle and open the door. You look down and grab that crisp new newspaper. Now just for a second, let’s pretend you are the sappy type of person that actually reads a physical newspaper and instead of digital newspaper like a boss. It’s the modern age people. Time to wake up to reality. Ahem. You smile. Breathe in the fresh air. You smell the pretty roses. You have happy smiles coming out your ass. You look up into the beautiful colorful sky. You take a second wind and…”SHIT BALLS!! IT’S RAINING FIRE AND KNIVES!” A titan of a knife falls into your head (Now. Remember this isn’t real. In my mind, this could actually happen. Reality has no meaning here). Yes, into your head. You feel as if your very soul is being ripped out, it’s so painful.

This is what it’s like to read a Melina Marchetta novel. You go into it skipping and dancing thinking of rainbows, daisies, and beautiful words. Little do you know of the demented and malicious creature who wrote that book. I can just imagine her sitting there at her desk, injecting the tears of her readers into her bloodstream so she can stay alive. She is BAD ASS.

*death will come to you my friend*


Francesca is the zenith of young adult heroines with personality and individuality. She’s a pop culture junkie and uses it with intelligence. Marchetta writes Francesca’s snark and witty comebacks with class. Never did I feel that she drilled it into the reader that she’s astute and flippant. She’s no Charley Davidson.

“…Do you know what this is? Luca is going to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night and squirt it on his tongue. It’s like drugs for ten-year-olds. Today it’s Ice Magic. Tomorrow, heroin.”

*Give me the delicious Ice Magic*

Francesca wants to find her place. She’s not shy, but she doesn’t want to be an outcast either. Her mother’s opinion is that she’s lazy. Her old friends think she’s nonthreatening and weird. Her new friends think she’s shy. But, Francesca: she’s not sure what to think because everybody else is telling her what she is and what she isn’t. She wants to make them see the real her. She wants them to see the real her, but at the same time she just wants survive her new school at St. Sebastians. It’s a dangerous thing to be the center of attention and it’s not a job she wants.

My theory is to lay low, and my reluctance to get involved has nothing to do with fear or shyness, contrary to popular perception.

Francesca is stuck between being in the hellish place that is teen adolescence and watching her mother sink deeper and deeper into the sorrow of depression. The reason I love Francesca is her savage honesty about boys, sex, and depression. In the midst of all that, she never censors her thoughts or language. She uses words like fuck and get stuffed, making me adore her all the more. She’s independent and speaks up with a slightly crude attitude. I am Team Francesca all the way.

I want to be her friend. Seriously, Francesca. Me and you. We could rule the world with our pop culture references and snarky slams. It would be glorious. The things we would do together:

1. Spread world peace with our snark.

2. Watch the entire Buffy series.

3. Watch anything with sappy love scenes like pride and prejudice.

4. Start our own blog of pop culture wickedness

5. Sing the lyrics of Fiddler on Roof drunk on Vodka and cheetoes.

6. Go into a bookstore and put pink stickers on our favorite books so people would buy them.

See how much fun would we would have? Seriously Francesca, you have no idea the wondrous things you would miss out on if don’t become friends. We could be like a Jennifer Lawrence type of awesome.

*Look at my beard of glory*

Francesca acts like a real teen instead of immature rip off Bella Swan. She’s real and doesn’t overemphasize the guy’s good looks just to make sure the reader is listening. I love that the guy she’s into isn’t good looking. He’s plain. They get off on the wrong step , but then over the year they sink into each others lives. They can’t help but look at each other. Very few Young Adult books make me feel that the relationship is real. This one made me believe.

“Sometimes you look at me and it’s like all the bullshit gets stripped off and I’m left with what’s underneath and I kind of like what I see. Someone who actually fails. Someone who has absolutely no self-control. Someone who says real dickhead things like ‘this is complicated.’ I like that part of me, you know. I like the fact that I know I can’t control you or how I feel about you and that doesn’t freak me out.”

God, what is with you Marchetta? What kind of sick need to you have to make me feel saccharine feelings all the time. No other author has this effect on me. I don’t cry. Not a crier, okay?

*SOBBS AND CRIES AND TEARS AND WHERE IS THAT BOTTLE?*

Marchetta doesn’t just excel at characterization and emotion, she’s a wordsmith without turning it into purple prose. She’s wildly talented with words and forming them to make sure that every single time magic comes out of her pen. You can just tell that each sentence took time. Each sentence reads as if she spent hours just thinking of the perfect way to form the words she wants to say. She’s a malicious magician and I love her.

*Time to intentionally fall out of my chair so I can sob the ultimate sobs*

Her dialogue is pure fucking genius:

“You chicks give me the shits,” he says.                                    

“You, on the other hand, brighten up our day,” I tell him. “We all regard you as a god.”          

“You know what we call you? Bitch Spice, Butch Spice, Slut Spice, and Stupid Spice.”

Marchetta deals with Francesca’s development beautifully. At first, I thought Francesca judged a friend of hers for having sex because she was known as the school slut. Then, I changed my mind. There was a development that curbed her original opinion. It was done subtly, but it was there. I never felt that it was slut shaming, but that it was unclear as to whether it was slut shaming. I came to the opinion, that Francesca may have originally been judgmental about her friends decision to be rash and irresponsible in her sex life. Francesca improved her thoughts that it wasn’t her place to judge someone based on whether they had sex with someone they didn’t know.

Full of Buffy, Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Taxi Driver references among many others, this is the type of novel you should be ashamed you haven’t read.

My Most Anticipated Novels For 2015

There are so many great books coming out this year, and the majority of them of debut authors. Usually when I think about the books I’m looking forward to, it’s always the new authors. The ones that bring something new to big gigantic pile of books that get published every year.

This year I am particularly happy because I’m starting to see a change in Young Adult when it comes to diversity in the genre. There are quite a few authors that are releasing books with protagonists that don’t add to the slush pile of white girls in this genre. I’m white myself, but I want to see every person represented in this genre. If you aren’t white, this is a very tough genre to go into when you can’t see yourself being represented. Okay, see now I’m blabbing. Let’s just shut up now and look at the BOOKS!


1. The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh:


THE WRATH AND THE DAWN (PENGUIN/PUTNAM, MAY 12, 2015):

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and break the cycle once and for all.

My thoughts:

This is my most anticipated read for the year. It’s just a plus that it’s a debut. And it’s inspired by A Thousand and One Nights! What could be more fabulous? I SHIP IT MOST OF ALL.


2. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir:

LAIA is a Scholar living under the brutal rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who vow to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they will find that their destinies are more intertwined that either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Vow your blood and body to the empire.
Keep your heart for yourself.

My thoughts:

There is so much buzz and hype surrounding this book that I could have a stroke and then I could suffer from a hemorrhage. I am a dramatic bitch.


3. Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee:


Rocky meets Gattaca in this thrill-ride of celebrity, competition, and responsibility.

Carr “the Raptor” Luka is an athletic phenom, a rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing. Training and competing aboard the lunar orbiting city-station of Valtego (where It’s More Fun on the Dark Side TM), all he’s ever wanted is to win the championship title.

His talent and marketability don’t go unnoticed by the top brass of the Zero Gravity Fighting Association. They assign him a brandhelm; after all, anyone who wants to be anyone needs a dedicated personal marketing strategist. Beautiful and ambitious, Risha is one of the genetically engineered Martian colonists that Earth dwellers view with resentment and suspicion. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity, and stolen his heart along the way.

But success could be the worst thing that happens to them. As his fame grows, Carr must come to terms with the fact that he’s become an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet now angry at falling into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. When Carr learns of a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating personal secret. Not only will his choices place into jeopardy everything he holds dear, they may spill the violence from the sports arena out into the solar system.

My thoughts:

You had me at Rocky Meets Gattaca. No explanations necessary.


4. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed:

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

My thoughts:

A modern day tale of an arranged marriage? Plus, just look at the beautiful cover. It’s simple, but strikingly powerful. HELL YES. GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS.


5. Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood

A girl takes her sister’s place in an arranged political marriage between two intergalactic royal houses. The stakes are raised when the heroine finds she may be the illegitimate daughter of her family’s sworn enemy.


And…because I suck at making things even:

6. Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein:

Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

My thoughts:

A ruling class of Jinn…that is so intriguing, and dammit now I want to read it. Let’s hope the MC doesn’t suddenly become yet another special snowflake. I am sick of those. They need to go away.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine highlighting upcoming releases we’re looking forward to.




THE WRATH AND THE DAWN (PENGUIN/PUTNAM, MAY 12, 2015):

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and break the cycle once and for all.


The cover…..woah.

Again: WHOA.

Some more amaze: WHOOOOOA.

Silence. Ouch. Okay I got a little to close too the computer screen.

Seriously Guys. I love that cover. I love love love illustrated covers. Forget all that gossip magazine crap. THIS. This is how you put out a beautiful Young Adult cover. I love how there’s a painting of a girl behind the screen.  Forgive my western innocence, but I don’t know much about India or the middle east. I want to know more about that girl and her secrets.

IT’S SO BEAUUTTTTIFUL.

*enter into the insanity of my mind*

By the by: I have the Arabian Nights. I should read that. It looks fun.

*GIVE. GIVE. GIVE ME THE PRETTEH*

Brides.

Executions.

Revenge.

A boy-king.

I want to get my hands on this sucker.

Yes to more Diversity in YA.

I don’t know about you guys, but this is my number one anticipated read for 2015.

2 Star Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry


The girl with straight A’s, designer clothes and the perfect life-that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.


You know why Katie McGarry’s books work for me? They remind me of Boy Meets World.

When I was a kid, I loved that show. So much the ’90s.

*Boy Meets World*

By the time I started watching that show, I’m pretty sure they were on the last season. I loved the soap-opera drama, the bromance relationship between Cory (the kid with everything. A good home. A loving family. Security.) and Shawn (the kid from across the tracks. Constantly being moved. Nobody wanting him. A chip on his shoulder. Always feeling empty inside.)

Katie McGarry: You have re-created this for me in your books. The only difference is you upped the drama, pushed the intensity level of the relationships, and made the stakes look like 2pac had it good. 

*2PAC!!!! So badass.*

This is the guy that got shot 9 fucking times. It wasn’t until that 9th shot that he died. He had it rough. Yeah. That shit you do to your characters, well it makes it look like he got off easy.

I love Pushing the Limits. It was so good. I don’t even have the words to describe how much I love the relationship between Echo and Noah. I did not have that feeling with this book. I have so many issues and problems and confusion and shit with this book I don’t even know where to start.

Instead of loving it, I kept thinking of GREASE.

*IT’S ELECTRIFYING CHEESE!*

McGarry really handed out the cheese in this one. Everytime I thought I was enjoying it, Isaiah or Rachel would reminisce on their insta-love relationship with an epic proportion of words that look remarkably similar to vomit. It probably has some cheese chunks in there somewhere.

Forty-eight hours have officially passed since I met Rachel. I’ve thought about her; her beauty, he laughter, that shy smile, our kiss. She discovered a deep hole in my chest and somehow filled it with her existence. Now she’s gone, leaving me alone, leaving me hollow.

I like Isaiah. He’s a cool guy. He’s got tats, but he’s a nice guy. Genuine and real. I really like that. What I don’t like is that periodically he would let emotions get to overwhelming heights and start to say things that I find hard to believe any real guy would truly say. I have brothers. I know them like I know the back of my hand and I know that guys don’t think like this. They can be sweet, kind, wonderful, mean, loving, tough, and gross, but one thing they aren’t: a soap opera cheese master bending on his knees like a tattooed and pierced punked out Romeo. Too much, McGarry. Back it way up.

There’s also a lot of repetition in this book. There’s lots of vibrating of veins, garage doors, skulls, and blood. But there’s more! I’ve also felt like I’ve read the same sentence possibly 3 times in this one book:

Adrenaline begins to leak into my bloodstream, and I silently pray for Isaiah to stride back into the door. 

There are too many sentences involving: Bloodsteam, adrenaline, vibrate, electricity, and rush. It’s irksome and annoying to read repetition. I want to pay attention to the story instead of these repetitive sentences, but I can’t. I get that twitchy feeling.

CRAZY READER TURNS INTO EDITOR MODE. ROAR. ROAARRRR. ROAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!

I loved Echo, but I can not get on board with Rachel. I love that she’s a nerd for cars. I love that she’s an introvert. I love that she’s uncomfortable socializing and being the center of attention. What I do not like:

1. That she was late to realize that she too committed to the problems in her home. Her relationship isn’t just her mother’s fault. She never tried to show her mom the real her. She was a little late in speaking up for herself. You can’t sit back and expect things to change. You have to change them if you want them to change. If you want respect, own it. Ask for it. Don’t just sit there. Speak.

 2. She jumps to conclusions. An example:

It’s a rare gift and he gave it to her. Our fight must have opened his eyes. The crash must have revealed his true feelings. And his feelings aren’t for me. 

 

*Stares at you. Raises eyebrow. REALLY?*

3. She’s got a catatonic level of self-conscious emotions going on. If she’s not jumping to conclusions, she’s telling people that they think she’s weak. Can we be done with heroines that hate themselves? I get being a little self conscious, but this a Titanic is sinking type of self loathing. Okay, maybe it wasn’t Karina Halle type of heroine self hatred, but it was still pretty epic in proportion. Turn it way way down, McGarry. Example:

“I am not weak.”

His eyes widen. “I never said you were.”

I pull a hand through my hair and tug at the strands, hoping that I’m wrong. But I’m not. “You’re just like my brothers. You see me as fragile and stupid and as someone who can’t make her own decisions.”

*I am so done with this shit*

 4. She irrationally trusts someone she barely knows without much reason. Say I’m seventeen years old and I’m drag racing. I’m yearning for the rush and danger. I’m expected to be responsible all the time at home. So I decide to have one night of danger. I don’t know much about what I’m doing. Right? I meet this hot guy with tattoos. I ask him to help me and he does. He helps me hide from the police and I help him hide from the police for illegal racing. Because he helped me and I think that because he didn’t hurt me that I can trust him. I still have the hots for him and trust him. We start to talk about cars. We start to date. What do you think? Am I smart? Have I made a mistake in trusting him even though I’ve barely known him for 3 hours? What if he wasn’t a nice guy?

What if instead of this sweet and sexy guy:

He’s this guy:

His name is Jeffrey Dahmer. He’s a serial killer. And I just fell in love with him.

Oopsie?

2 Stars: I enjoyed this book. I love McGarry, but this book was too cheesy for my taste. Maybe the next one will be better.

4 Star Review: Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn…

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.


Why did I try out Dark Currents, you ask? Because of a little comment dearest Kat made:

Thanks to Kat, I picked up this glory of urban fantasy novelization (It’s a word. I’m sure of it).

I now bow to your great scepter-ness (according to my mind, this is also a word. I dare you to defy me) Kat. Your welcome.

*Kat and her sceptor-ness take no prisoners.*

She’s really a nice person, ignore Katy Perry’s bitch glare.


A half-demon.

A mermaid.

A goddess of the Norse mythology.

Some abs.

A shiny dagger.

A MURDER.

It’s all there. I did not expect the world to be this interesting, when I first went in. At first the book was a little slow. But then it really started to pick up. Don’t expect it to be a fast paced roller coaster ride, guys. It’s really good, but it’s written with plot and character development in mind. Be patient. I am so shocked at the intense creativity of the world. Daisy has the sad fortune of being the daughter of a minor demon. When she gets even a little angry things happen. She works really hard to control her temper. As the daughter of a demon, she’s very aware of the seven deadly sins. If I had a tail due to being the daughter of a demon, I too would be aware of my humanity and its fragility.

Daisy is Hel’s liaison and does the occasional supernatural job for the local chief of police. Hel is the Norse goddess of the underworld and daughter of Loki. She presides over the town in the connecting underworld Little Nieflheim. She has authority over the eldritch community.

Daisy’s job just got a lot harder. She and her old high school crush, Cody, are thrown together to try to solve the crime. I have to say that Carey handled the mystery very well. Mystery readers like to try to figure out for themselves. I love to try to look at the clues and speculate which sentences could have been a foreshadow. At a certain point, I was almost ninety percent sure I knew who it was and I think this was intentional on the author’s part. She had planted all the clues and to me they all pointed to a particular person. Jacqueline completely threw the ball out of the game. She manipulated the fuck out of me. And, I loved that she did. MINDFUCKED.

*MINDFUCKED*

Daisy is odd. She’s attracted to certain body parts and things that a human wouldn’t be. But as a half demon, she’s more attracted to supernaturals than she is with humans. Nothing gross or anything, don’t worry. She admits to being bisexual when it comes to the eldritch.

Dominant MC’s kick balls.

She’s a forceful person. She’s very assertive and does her job with intelligence, maturity, and strength. She doesn’t let people walk all over her. She doesn’t become silent when someone insults her. Daisy understands that as a woman working in a male workforce, she needs to be assertive. She has to look at her orders with maturity, without writing it off as that person being a jerk because she’s female. She has the strength and intelligence to not be offended by a demanding employer or co-worker. She doesn’t cry when someone calls her a name. I like this. She doesn’t take it personally because she knows it’s a hard place to work in. But she also doesn’t just write it off. When you work around a lot of guys who are very assertive and dominant, you learn to not take things personally. You learn to be as fucking bold and assertive as they are. Daisy has done this. She does what she had to do as Hel’s liaison. She doesn’t shy away from taking charge or killing someone.

*Emma Watson level of Badass*

A lot of urban fantasy books don’t include female friendships.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve strayed from the genre. You have this heroine who wears black and hates anything girly, right. She’s a loner. Kind of like a stray dog that bites anyone that goes near her. She gets along with guys, but whenever a female shows up she barks and bitches and barks and bitches ending with a big slut shaming end. I hate that shit. Daisy has female friendships.

I bloody (I’m not British but I’m using this work. SUCK IT) loved the relationship development between Cody and Daisy. When they’re thrown together as partners, they barely tolerate each other. Cody is a werewolf and is very secretive about it. He has preconceived notions about Daisy because she is half demon. As anyone would, really. Daisy has preconceived notions about Cody. She thinks that the rumors she hears about him are true, which is understandable until you actually ask the person whether they’re true.

Cody and Daisy slowly get to know each other. They go from tolerating each other, to friends, to having a friendship that could possibly turn into something romantic.

Hell yes! it’s not about sex or how hot the guys are. SMILES ABOUND.

*Holy Shit! Is the apocalypse coming?*

There’s some abs and pecks for sure, but it doesn’t dominate the story. It’s a very low key detail. This book is not about the romantic entaglements of the main character, it’s about her struggle as a half demon and the murder mystery. Her friendship with Cody is my favorite thing about this book because it shows that the best relationships develop from friendship. By the end of this book, I was incredibly happy that they stayed friends and that it didn’t turn into a romance. It stayed an urban fantasy with the possibility of including a slow burn in the future.

Carey presents us with religion, myths, supernatural creatures, and the struggles all those elements face when combined without preaching her own personal religious beliefs. She provides us with the elements as a story. She shows us a very real thing: overly religious individuals who try to preach another person’s faults based on their religion. Just because she makes religion a contributing factor in this book does not mean that she is pushing her own religious beliefs on her reader. Just because it’s there or that it’s presented in a certain way does not make this so.

The eldritch community (supernatural creatures) is not polar opposite to the very conservative and religious community. It would have been a cliché had they been non-religious atheists who detested religion with every fiber of their being. Many didn’t claim any religion, some didn’t comment on it, and some were very much religious. The characters in this novel were individuals when it came to their religion. They weren’t sectioned off by their species or race when it came to what they believed in. Even Daisy didn’t know where she stood when it came to religion.

I got some problems with the book, guys.

1. I hated that Daisy used the words: Gah! and Oh crap! so much. It was too  much. It threw me out of the book. Why? Those are words teens use, rather than an independent woman who is very aware of the dangers she faces. I would think a woman in her 20’s would be okay with using fuck or shit. I’m very fond of those words myself.

2. There’s a moment where Daisy takes it upon herself to judge 2 adults for their decision not to send their kids to public school because they feel it’s too dangerous for their kids. Okay, no one has the right to judge another parent’s decision on an important matter. I’m not a parent, but you need to respect that parent’s decisions especially if you don’t have kids yourself.

3. The drama between Daisy and her friend Jen over Cody was fake. I didn’t buy it. I loved that Daisy was quick to realize her mistakes and owns up to the fact that she fucked up. But Jen seemed completely oblivious to the fact that her friend had a crush on Cody. I know that me and my friends are always aware of who has the hots for who, even if we’re not told. It’s just how we are. You don’t break the code. Okay. You just don’t. Either Jen is just being immature or she is fucking oblivious to everything. Your choice.

And now, I leave you with an exploding Taco: Because that is what this book sums up to. It has it’s faults. You have to wait for the awesome. But, when that explosion hits it all comes together to form something intricate, interesting, and a little weird. It’s so pretty. Look! EXPLODING TACO!!!