ARC Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasAuthor:  Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance/New Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

416 pages, ARC & Hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Shout out to the wonderful Little Shop of Stories for letting me take this ARC! Check them out if you’re ever in Decatur, GA!

Can you say SEXY? I mean, goodness, I was not expecting this book. I’ve got to start with romance in ACOTAR because it’s…seductive. I don’t want you to think that the whole thing is full of sex or anything; it’s just that those few scenes are hot hot hot. Tamlin will make you SWOON. But he isn’t the only character who you’ll fall for. There’s plenty of sexy characters to completely fall in love with, including our kick-ass heroine, Feyre (what an awesome name!).

The world building is stunning, as was expected. The fairie courts and world are so interesting and well-done that I could’ve pictured the land without the addition of the map (though I’m a sucker for a book with a map). I hope we get to see even more of this world in the next book (WHICH NEEDS TO COME OUT TOMORROW!). I just LOVED this world of fairies, beasts, flowers, art, magical eyes, darkness, beautiful manors, Tamlin, Rhys, and magic magic magic. Quick little shout out to our weirdly attractive anti-hero Rhys. I won’t go into much detail here other than to say GET READY.

You may or may not know that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Because of it, it’s obvious what is going to happen from the beginning. You know who Feyre’s going to fall in love with, but the path getting there and what happens after is so absolutely amazing, different, and cool that it doesn’t matter. The world, the characters, the magic are all unique, but it definitely still feels like a fairy tale.

The bottom line: Incredible world. Fantastic retelling. Beautiful magic. Awesome characters. SEXY times. Well-deserved hype. I NEED more.

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

ARC Review: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

A dark, sort-of retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Cat Hellisen’s Beastkeeper is gorgeous and wonderful.
Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Author:  Cat Hellisen
Genre: MG, Fantasy, Retelling
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
208 pages, Hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Henry Holt and Co. for letting me read this!

One freezing cold night, Sarah’s mother leaves her and her father. Her father starts to change – he’s lazy, wild, strange, and yes, his hair is out of control. Beastkeeper is said to be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and it is, but also isn’t. There’s more than one beast, for instance, and Sarah might become one of them. There’s more than one prince, two witches, no rose, no servants. But the main difference is that love doesn’t break the curse – it stimulates it. Beastkeeper is more its own fairy tale than a retelling of another.

It’s been a few days since I finished Beastkeeper and I still can’t stop thinking about how beautifully written it is. It’s simple but descriptive, subtle but not. Here’s one of my favorite passages:

Sarah…wondered what flavor silence was, and if it grew hard and brittle if you threw it away, or if people sometimes stepped on wads of discarded silence and it stuck to the soles of their shoes and made their footfalls softer.” – Location 50, ARC

My favorite thing about the character is the uncertainty of whether they are good or evil – no one is all the way on one side. The characters make choices that end up trapping them or other to their fate. One character’s choice, which is decidedly unwise, and it sets off the chain of events. But other characters react and it continues the chain.

I will say that it took a little too long for Sarah to find out about the curse and to believe in magic. Beastkeeper is a short book, and it took at least a quarter of it for her to accept her fate and to decide she believed. One other thing that was weird was the romance. Sarah is thirteen yet she falls in love and enacts the curse. There’s really no chemistry (especially since he’s kind of a jerk and very obviously thinks of her as a child) or much of a hint that she sees him as anything else as a friend. It was sudden and strange.

The bottom line: Despite these two reservations I listed at the end, I really enjoyed Beastkeeper. The writing was gorgeous and the story was interesting, magical, and dark. Weird romance aside, this one is great.

Rating: 8 – Freaking fantastic

Waiting on Wednesday – A Court of Thorns and Roses

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

A Court of Thorns and RosesPublisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Release date: May 5, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Why I’m excited: Seriously, who isn’t waiting on this one? I feel like almost everyone in the book blogging world is looking forward to it, and I am seriously jealous of everyone who’s received an ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses (they all came with a beautiful mask). I feel like all I keep seeing on Twitter is “AHHH! I love ACOTAR!! It’s amazing!” and then I just feel the NEED all over again. Beauty and the Beast, fairies, a kick ass heroine, magic, Sarah J. Maas? I don’t really need anything else, honestly. It sounds really awesome, and I can’t wait to read it! Also, it’s “sexy and action-packed”? Can I have this NOW, please?