Saturday, April 4, 2015

Another Fairy Tale I Loved

by Stacey Jay
Rating: 5 out of 5

I almost didn't read this book. And that would have been a tragedy, though of course I wouldn't have known it. I judge books almost solely by their covers, but sometimes will just go off of what people recommend to me. This one was different. I read Of Beast and Beauty and loved it so much. I started Juliet Immortal because it was already on my TBR list, but I just couldn't really get into it. I like modern stories sometimes, but can't read many in the young adult area, mostly because there are too many pop references and it makes me crazy.
So when I saw this one come out, I was a little torn. I didn't love the cover (or the tagline: Sometimes you have to fight for happily-ever-after). But I read the synopsis and decided I'd want to try it so it was added to my TBR and then forgotten. I picked it up when I went back through my list for my next pick and headed up to the library to find something new. Of course, I found several other things, too, and I'd forgotten what it was about this one that made me want to read it. I brought it home anyway, but was on a graphic novel kick and ended up setting this one to the side before I even started it. I checked my due dates though, and saw that this one was due and had no renewals left. I think it was actually because someone else wants it, not that I had it for 9 weeks already... surely. Seeing that I had less than a week, I picked it up to start it to make my final decision and either read it or not. Three days later, it's in the Read and Loved It stack.

What I loved:
  • The characters. There was magic and there was some of the teen angst, but for the most part these seemed like very realistic portrayals of how these people would have felt about their circumstances.
  • The relationships. Man, I'd love to go into detail about this, but I don't want to spoil anything. I will say that Aurora and Niklaas's relationship was one of my favorites in a YA book (and possibly in just any book).
  • The premise of the story. I think maybe somewhere I read that this was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but it's not at all. The Sleeping Beauty background is from the original, not the Disney version, but really this is about her daughter. There are many borrowed ideas from other stories, but the way they are used and tied together worked well for me.
  • The point of view. I really like first person. The only thing I (usually) like even more is when there are multiple first person accounts. I like knowing what everyone is thinking, but not from a third person viewpoint.
My favorite quotes (there were so many, but I wanted to pick the ones that summed up the reasons I loved the book and also that didn't accidentally spoil anything):
“Why should any woman learn how wretched this world can be if they don't have to?”
“Because they are strong enough to know the truth, and proving that to themselves will make them stronger. And perhaps, if men were brought up to be gentler people, women wouldn't have need of protectors.”

“Maybe together we'll prove that prophecies, and curses, and kings and queens with nothing but evil in their souls aren't as powerful as people helping each other. People tying their hearts and minds together and telling fate to go stuff itself.”

As a general rule, I try really hard to think of “Things I Didn't Love.” Honestly, I can't for this one. Some of the reasons I loved the book are reasons other people will hate it. So if by those, it doesn't sound like it's for you, then maybe it's not. But this may be my favorite book I've read this year, and I can't believe I almost missed it. I really hope Stacey Jay keeps writing this fairy tale setting type books because she's amazing at it.