cruel prince book cover

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on January 2nd 2018
Pages: 384

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

This book left me speechless. The last scene was incredible! I was at the edge of seat expecting one outcome, and then the chair was pulled from me when something completely different happened.

When I first heard about The Cruel Prince, I brushed it off. I mean, yeah, the cover looked cool, but the description didn’t immediately grab me. On Goodreads I started seeing a lot of people reading and praising it. But still, I wasn’t going to buy it, because I’ve been avoiding spending money on books lately, preferring to utilize my trial of Kindle Unlimited. But when I got a second reminder email from Barnes & Noble saying I had a credit due to a lawsuit settlement (this is the third time it’s happened which is pretty neat), I was like, what the heck. I might as well take advantage of the credit before I lose it. It only paid for half of the ebook, but I was totally okay with covering the $4-ish dollars.

I’m so glad I made the decision to buy The Cruel Prince. It’s the first book in a long time that had me glued to the pages, forsaking sleep.

Jude and Taryn, both human, live in the land of Faerie, along with their older sister Vivi, who is half-fae. Vivi’s father is a redcap general who, by nature, is extremely violent. The Cruel Prince begins with Vivi’s father slaughtering her mother and the father of her two younger sisters. Vivi’s father drags her, and out of obligation, Jude and Taryn, to Faerie.

If you’ve ever read about the fae and their seelie and unseelie courts, you know how vicious they are. They’re bloodthirsty tricksters that lead humans beneath the hills to dance until they drop, among other horrible things.

Jude and Taryn are lucky because, even though Vivi’s father is not theirs’, he treats them like fae daughters. They have splendid rooms, lovely gowns, take the same classes that noble faes take, and are allowed to go to lavish balls.

Although both Taryn and Jude know that darkness lurks beneath the beauty, they have both, in different ways, adapted to the fae world they were thrusted into. For ten years Jude has resented the fae. She’s responded to their cruelness by becoming a formidable opponent in swordplay and the mind. In The Cruel Prince, after ten years of inferior treatment, Jude starts to bite back. Then you have her twin Taryn who has spent the last ten years keeping her head down, trying to the mimic the graceful ways of the fae. Taryn doesn’t want to just blend in, she wants to have a place amongst the fae. She’s pretty foolish in Jude’s and my opinion. Taryn has this romantic notion about the fae even though she’s witnessed the horror they bestow. I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say I prefer Jude, the smarter and braver sister who stands up for herself and others that need the protection, even if they don’t deserve it.

There a lot of fascinating characters in this book. You have the twins of course, and their older half-fae sister Vivi who is hilarious. Vivi despises the fae in general and their old ways. She wants to be free, to live in the modern world with electronic devices, like cable. Then you have Vivi’s ‘stepmother’ Oriana, who reminds me of the wicked stepmother from Cinderella. She only tolerates the sisters because their stepfather expects her to. Oriana has a young son named Oak who is a wild child, but clearly loves his older sisters, and they him. There’s Cardan, the cruel youngest prince to the king of the seelie court who I despised in the beginning, but slowly began to love. He’s kind of the typical, attractive, brooding, jerk that is shielding deep problems that you’re dying to learn about. Other characters I enjoyed included an attractive fox-like fae that seems to be part of Cardan’s cruel group of friends, until he slowly changes his tune and takes an interest in Jude. *wink*

This book has action, heartbreak, sabotage, espionage, romance, and more. I was so riveted by Jude. I cheered for Jude when she stood up to Cardan and the other vicious fae, and I felt sorrow when she slowly started turning dark like her recap stepfather. I understood her transformation though, to survive, sometimes you have to become the very thing you hate most.

I can’t gush enough about this book. It’s so juicy and one of kind (in my eyes). Now I’m agonizing over the 1 then 2 year wait for books 2 and 3.

White Raven Cover

White Raven (Raven #1) by J. L. Weil

White Raven (Raven #1) by J. L. Weil
Published by J. L. Weil on March 20, 2015
Pages: 278


It only took one heartbeat to change my life—one chilling phone call in the middle of the night.

And then, as if my life didn’t already suck, my dad sends my brother and me to some idyllic island for the summer to live with a grandma we never met. WTH. Naturally, I rebel. In the end, I find myself shipped off to Raven Hallow…and bored to tears.

Until I get an eyeful of the mind-bendingly gorgeous Zane Hunter. The dark-hair cutie makes my pulse go bonkers, and I think, maybe this might not be so bad after all. Six feet of swoon inducing looks, with a hint of Celtic charm in his voice, he was the type of guy that left a string of broken hearts in his wake. And I had all the heartbreak I could handle.

Yet, there is something uncanny, almost supernatural about Zane, and it’s not just his devastating smirk. No matter how much distance I put between us, Raven Hallow isn’t big enough, and the sparking tension between is undeniable. Of course, the one person I want to avoid becomes my salvation.

My past comes back to terrorize me. Someone wants me dead, and the closer I get to the truth, the more I realize my whole life is a lie. I am no longer sure what is more frightening—the attempts on my life or the guy whose heart and soul are synchronized with mine.

White Raven was an inexpensive urban fantasy that I found on Amazon. I bought it because it had a couple hundred good reviews, and it also had a vague, interesting description. I love short, vague descriptions, because, who wants to read a book when the description gives you the whole play-by-play?! Not me!

I’m going to jump right in – After Piper and TJ’s mother is murdered on the streets of Chicago, the two siblings are ferried away to their Grandmother Rose’s house for the entire summer. Not only have they never met Rose, she happens to live on an island out near the New England coastline.

Because Piper and TJ did not want to visit Rose, they instantly, and irrationally, hate the look of the town, and their new home. However, TJ is still polite to Rose when they arrive. Piper on the other hand, always the rebellious and sarcastic one, doesn’t take it easy on Rose. Rose has saintly patientence when it comes to Piper. TJ quickly enjoys his new digs and electronics while Piper remains unhappy. At least Piper was unhappy until she spots an incredibly gorgeous guy at the local country club. Rose immediately tells Piper to stay away from the guy because he’s “trouble” and of course, being a teenager, Piper doesn’t listen.

The mysterious and gorgeous guy is named Zane and he is one of four siblings. Piper’s hormones ignite whenever Zane is around regardless of the fact that he’s rude and standoffish. Piper is irritated at Zane but not the type to go cry in her bedroom, nope, she gives him just as much sass back. Their banters are electric and hilarious. They clearly have great chemistry. Piper starts to think staying on the island wouldn’t be so bad until a scary ass dude tries kill her. Luckily Zane appears and saves Piper. Piper learns that a lot of bad things and bad people are also on this island…

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the mythology in this book. There’s so many details left out. The author used bits and pieces of already established ancient mythology to create something unique, but it lacked the glue to make the pieces stick together in harmony.

Lastly – It enrages me that the girl on the book cover, Piper, I presume, is wearing a bright pink dress. Book Piper has said twice that she loathes pink – she’s a girl who wears combat boots and black nail polish. The cover is pretty but doesn’t stay true to the character at all and it’s a shame.

Vampire Girl cover

Vampire Girl (Vampire Girl #1) by Karpov Kinrade

Vampire Girl (Vampire Girl, #1) by Karpov Kinrade
Published by Daring Books on April 5th 2016
Pages: 270

You think it's safe to walk alone at night. It's not.

You think the only threat is other humans. It's not.

Monsters are real. Demons are real. Vampires are real.

And I'm about to become one of them.

My name is Arianna Spero. I was an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life, until my mother lapsed into a coma. Now, I am her only hope. She made a deal with the devil, and on my 18th birthday he came to collect. But there's a way to save her. There's something the princes of hell want more than my mother.


So I signed my soul away and promised to pick a prince to marry. I would take the blood oath, become one of them, and give them an heir. I would become a princess of hell, and my mother would live. I expected fire and brimstone. I expected pain and misery. I didn't expect beauty. I didn't expect magic. I didn't expect love. But the princes are keeping secrets from me. Secrets that could shatter everything.

It only took me a couple hours to finish Vampire Girl because, the writing was fairly simple and myself, being a fast reader, blew right through it.

I have mixed feelings about Vampire Girl. On one hand, I loved the idea of Ari bargaining her soul for her mother’s by agreeing to marry 1 of the 7 princes of sin; lust, war, pride, etc. I was really excited in the beginning of the story because I immediately liked the two princes Ari had met already, the grizzly, and fiercely protective Fen, and the witty, handsomely-dressed Asher. Once Ari got to hell though, I became less excited.

I felt like the author’s spin on vampires, demons, and the fae was missing some finesse. So many races, their history, and their rules, came at me so quick that I had trouble keeping up. The major info dumps left me dazed. At one point I just stopped caring about the setting and races, and instead focused solely on the relationship between Fen and Ari. Fen and Ari become the dominant pairing early on, while Asher fades into the background. We never fully meet any of the other princes in this book which bummed me out. I was looking forward to a giant love circle – haha.

Also – I’m sorry, but I think Vampire Girl is a horrible title for this book. It totally gives the wrong impression for the whole series. I started the book thinking it’s all about bloodsuckers, and that Ari had a fetish for them. Nope. Not even close. The title is completely misleading, and doesn’t belong with the story. I’ve read the titles of the books to come, and they sound enticing. I’m going to read book two to see if it improves on the weaker parts of book one.

It seems like I have nothing good to say about this book, but I do. I liked Ari because she reminded me of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She swapped places with her mother (father) in order to stay with the princes of hell (the beast). She’s incredibly kind, loving, and brave.

Some of the writing was corny, but overall Vampire Girl was a decent read.

Hidden Deep Cover

Hidden Deep (Hidden Saga #1) by Amy Patrick

Hidden Deep (Hidden Saga, #1) by Amy Patrick
Published by Oxford South Press on March 23rd 2015
Pages: 319

Give in to the Glamour…

Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she'd be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She's a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he's not supposed to exist.

After her father's affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn't mind a first date that didn't suck, but she's determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann's recently moved back to her childhood home in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.

She's still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He's still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she's with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann's strict policy-- never want someone more than he wants you.

Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don't get careless and Don't get caught. It's allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore…

Lad's never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He's not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.

And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening, and mysterious celebrity fan pods are becoming more and more widespread and influential. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully unaware and safe.

By happy accident I found Hidden Deep on Amazon while scrolling through the section called “Customers who bought this item also bought”. Hidden Deep was a hidden (pun intended) gem among a large selection of books that didn’t interest me at all.

Hidden Deep is a beautifully written love story between Ryann and Lad. Their story began ten years prior to Hidden Deep when six year old Ryann got lost in the woods and young Lad saved her. Ryann never fully understood what happened in the woods and when she tried to explain to her parents what she did remember, they brushed it off as nonsense caused by hypothermia. Ryann and Lad’s story continues in Hidden Deep, when after ten years, they meet again in a most unique and funny way.

Ryann is miserable in the beginning of Hidden Deep because she and her mother recently had to move in with her grandmother. Her grandmother lives in a secluded log cabin in the middle of the sweltering Mississippi woods. Ryann’s life gets a lot more enjoyable and exciting when she meets the handsome and peculiar grown-up Lad. Lad has a lot of secrets that are slowly revealed when he and Ryann spend many sweet moments together.

When Lad’s secrets were revealed I was really happy because I did not expect them. I mean, I had an inkling, but the unveiling was larger than I imagined it to be. Luckily this isn’t one of those books that reveal the number one question at the end. In Hidden Deep we get some time post-reveal before, of course, the dreaded cliffhanger.

I also want to mention that there’s another guy in Ryann’s life, Nox, a teenager who is the complete opposite of Lad. Lad is like the sun; he has golden features with bright eyes and a sweet, kind, and chivalrous persona. Nox is like the night with dark hair and eyes. He’s seductive and a bit aggressive. Nox also had secrets he was keeping. I didn’t like Nox because he was too aggressive. He often pushed Ryann into thinking badly about herself which is a no-go for me.

And guess what!! No insta-love! It’s such a gratifying moment when two characters gradually share their past and current emotions and grow closer instead of two people ogling each other, declaring vows of love, and then hopping into bed.

the assasins blade

The Assasin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on March 4th 2014
Pages: 448

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

If you haven’t read the Throne of Glass series (at least book #1) you shouldn’t continue reading because there’s big spoilers!

These novellas were already published by the time I finally read Throne of Glass (2016), however I wasn’t really interested in reading them. I knew that the budding romance between Sam and Celaena wasn’t going to last because I knew he was going to die, so I figured, what’s the point? Well, with Tower of Dawn wrapped and sitting under my Christmas tree, I decided to re-read the whole series again. When I originally read these books I devoured book after book until they all started to blend together. I could barely remember what happened in which book.  I’ve got a bit of a binging problem.. so this time I decided to read slower and savor each book. I also decided it was time to finally read the novellas. When the pirates and the desert assassins showed up at the end of Empire of Storms I wanted to know how the heck Celaena a.k.a. Aelis was able to make it happen. I’m proud that I finally read these novellas.

I’m going to briefly comment on each story –

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
This novella was definitely entertaining but far too short. There’s no real backstory on the pirate lord, and Celaena and Sam miraculously free 200 slaves within less than 100 pages. Everything felt rushed and not fleshed out. This novella disappointed me the most out of all of them because it was the one I was most eager to finally read. 3 stake rating!

The Assassin and the Healer
This was my least favorite of the 5 novellas. It was dry and not as exciting as say, The Assassin and the Desert. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Celaena in these first two novellas because she was so aloof and miserable, and well, a bitch. Even though she saves slaves in the first novella and empowers a girl in this novella, Celaena’s still so devoid of emotions. This is a Celaena that I wasn’t used to and one that I didn’t really like. I realize it was all a plot device to show how Celaena changes but… meh. 2 stake rating!

The Assassin and the Desert
Even though this novella was also far too short, it was my favorite one. Celaena finally begins to thaw out after the events in The Assassin and the Healer and even more so when she begins a friendship with Ansel. Celaena has never had any girlfriends. She’s the only female assassin under Arobyn and therefore has never been able to relate to girls. There is such heartbreaking moment in this novella for Celaena and it really hit me too. However, I can’t wait to see Celaena’s interaction with the desert assassins in future book(s). 4 stake rating!

The Assassin and the Underworld
This was an interesting story but not very twisty. I could tell right from the start that Arobyn was playing Celaena. He doesn’t tell full truths, and finds interesting ways to punish those that don’t obey him. Sam and Celaena finally get together in this book after they admit their true feelings. There’s sweet moments between the two that break my heart because I know they are not headed towards a happily ever after. 3 stake rating!

The Assassin and the Empire
This was by far the hardest novella to read. If you’ve read Throne of Glass you know how Celaena and Sam’s story ends and it’s not happy. Reading this book was like watching the Titanic. You have a hard time enjoying the sweet moments because it’s only a matter of time until Sam and Celaena’s relationship is shattered. 4 stake rating!