Book Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

review

Let me just say that YOU WILL CRY! This story isn’t the happy, fun Neverland that we all know it’s a dark, dispiriting one but all at once the best word to describe this book is beautiful.

PLOT

This story is about Tiger Lily and Peter Pan’s relationship but mostly it’s about Tiger Lily as a person and there’s also a lot more to it than just that. This book has a very unique narrative style as it’s told from the perspective of Tinkerbell as she follows different characters around and can read their thoughts. I found that having Tink narrate added a LOT more insight into each character than we would have gotten with a different point of view.

We start the story with Tiger Lily at a younger age and watch as she grows and Tink notices that Tiger Lily is a lot different from the people of her tribe and therefore doesn’t quite fit in. There are many different events that come into play (I don’t want to spoil anything!) but ultimately everything pushes Tiger Lily towards Peter and from there we watch how things play out with the different characters on the island. There are quite a few twists in the story that I hate to say are pretty heart-wrenching but overall add so much complexity, all the little threads weaving together.

Like I mentioned right away this isn’t a happy story and Neverland isn’t the care-free place we have seen before, it’s a very dark and sad place full of flawed and broken people. Many things that occur in the plot are deeply saddening, once again I’ll tell you YOU WILL CRY!

The pacing is very slow in this book but it isn’t out of place here and I didn’t mind it at all. “Tiger Lily” is very much a character driven story and is not action packed by any means but I feel a faster pacing would tell a completely different story than the wonderful one we already got.

And that writing! It’s absolutely gorgeous! Jodi Lynn Anderson managed to write something that’s just so beautiful, heart-wrenching, and magical all at the same time. The writing is wonderfully descriptive and just fit the story perfectly.

I also just have to add for any Peter Pan fan (like myself) there are a bunch of very fun twists on things from the original story!

characters

I think it’s easy to say the characters are the best part of this story, everyone is very complex and has so much personality. Everyone is flawed in their own ways but they all also have their own strengths.

Tiger Lily is such a wonderful protagonist she’s strong, brave, and fearless but she’s also incredibly lonely. She has the complete acceptance of only a few people in her tribe such as Tik Tok, her foster father, and her friends Pine Sap and Moon Eye yet she still feels very alone. Tiger Lily is also more capable of doing things the men of her tribe do versus the things the women do and I loved that she could care less in this matter what people think. Girl power!

Peter himself is as lonely as Tiger Lily in some ways but he’s still a bit of the mischievous boy we all know and love.

We also get to see some different spins on the Lost Boys, Wendy Darling, Captain Hook, and even Smee.

romance

I’m extremely torn about the romance! On one hand a big part of the story is Tiger Lily and Peter’s relationship and I loved it but on the other hand I’ll always be a lover of Peter and Wendy…..

To be fair though I loved how Tiger Lily and Peter’s brokeness drew them together and their interactions were heart-warming at times but also they did have a lot of problems. They weren’t meant for long-term, they’re too unstable and dispirited for each other. They both needed people more encouraging and stable for themselves.

I did like how their romance ended up but also at the same time it DESTROYED ME!

in conclusion

I loved the story and don’t really have to much to complain about but at the same time it just seems to be more of a four star read for me than a five star read.

What I Loved:

  • The complexity of the characters
  • Tinkerbell’s narrative style
  • The relationships/romances
  • The plot twists and events (even though the wrecked me)
  • The references to the original Peter Pan tale
  • The writing is beautiful

What I Didn’t Like:

  • A certain thing that occurs at the very end…it ruined me
  • I wish it had been longer
  • I would have liked more insight and story time with Captain Hook, Wendy, and The Lost Boys

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend reading this book, period. If you love retellings, read this book. If you love Peter Pan, read this book. If you’re looking for a story that is both parts beautiful and heart-wrenching, read this book.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

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Discussion Post: Reviewing Books Long After Finishing Them

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So this is actually a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about recently and just wanted to do up a discussion post and see what the rest of you think about it as well! This is almost like a poll for me since I’m genuinely very curious as to what your opinions are on this topic so please join the discussion and let me know!

This will be a shorter discussion post than usual since it’s pretty straight forward.

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Do we always have to publish a review for a book?

As book bloggers we read quite a few books and also review them on our blogs but when it gets to be too much I don’t see anything wrong with reading a book JUST for fun and not publishing a review at all. There are also instances where a book may just be too hard to review because we loved or hated it so much we can’t find the right words to properly describe our experience. I know I have certainly run into both of these problems myself.

The only time I think a review is mandatory is when you receive an ARC (advanced reader copy) because publishers gave you a FREE copy in order to review it and get some hype/buzz going about the book.


So when you do decide to review a book, how long is too long to wait?

This here is the golden question in this discussion! I know when I finish a book I may not always jump into a review right away (for the reasons stated in the first question). Then as time goes on I realize “Hey! I never actually reviewed that one….” which brings me to thinking I can either post a review now or maybe just put it off infinitely. However, many of the books I have yet to review were ones I had full intentions of reviewing and just never got around to it.

I personally like to think you can post a review for a book WHENEVER you want to! Read the book a year ago? Fine, post a review! Read it a month ago? Fine, post a review! You should be able to post reviews for books at your own leisure, with the exception of ARCs as stated earlier.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we are all comfortable doing it whenever. I know I personally get really self conscious about reviewing books I read last year and why? Because I worry that’s frowned upon by others. But why?! Why do I care? I don’t know, but I definitely think at the same time we should post what we want, when we want!


One Last Note…..

I’m VERY curious as to all of your thoughts on this topic since I have quite a few books I read and have yet to review! So the big reason behind making this into a post is to learn whether or not you guys are still interested in reading reviews for books I read a year ago even if their mini reviews and whatnot.

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Come Join The Discussion!

How long do you wait to post a review for a book you read?

Do you always review every book you read?

Are you still interested in reading book reviews even though the books were read a while ago?

Is it alright to read a book and NEVER post a review?

Do you think it’s alright to post a review even though you read the book a while ago? Even if it’s been a month, a few months, or even a year?

What do you think of others who take a long time to post their reviews?

The Sassy

ARC Review: The Dragon’s Price (Transference #1) by Bethany Wiggins

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When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

review

****Thank you to Random House Kids for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review****

This was a big disappointment for me since I was expecting to really love this book, honestly, it was just sort of a big mess. This book is basically one big insta-love romance that just so happens to be in a fantasy world….

PLOT

The overall premise of the story is interesting and, come on, who doesn’t love the promise of dragons? Unfortunately the ONLY interesting thing in the story were the dragons and even then they weren’t that great. Other than that the plot was boring more than half the time and it was predictable, NOTHING new or original at all.

Everything that happens in this story is too convenient and entirely unbelievable even for fantasy. Princess Sorrowlynn is unskilled in anything not necessarily even very clever and yet an event in the story MAGICALLY makes her so. Really? You had to magically make your character skilled and clever? She couldn’t have any skills beforehand or slowly develop some? Needless to say the rest of the plot was similar with everything falling into place conveniently rather than with any work.

Generally I don’t mind the writing in stories but this was…..terrible. The dialogue was cringe-worthy and way too simplistic, overall it didn’t feel like I was reading Young Adult but more like Middle Grade because of how immature the writing felt. This was one of the bigger issues I had with this book which just goes to show the writing can really make or break you, in this case it broke it.

I can’t really tell you why I felt compelled to finish this book other than I was a little curious to see where the story would go since I had no idea what direction it was going in but also because I wanted to give a full review on this ARC.  Honestly I think the only truly interesting parts were with the dragons and their “treasure”, that was it.

One other random thing that bothered me is the Antharian people are essentially a rip-off of the Dothraki from the A Song of Ice and Fire series. They have dark, tanned skin, long black hair which represents their status as a warrior, they come from grasslands, and they are known for their love of horses. I’m sorry but that is EXACTLY what the Dothraki are!

Overall the story is bland, boring, unoriginal, and unexciting. I had to skim through some parts because I was so bored and could have cared less what happened to anyone or anything.

characters

All of the characters are very flat and two dimensional, there’s virtually NO development whatsoever especially since what development there is is done over the course of minutes rather than slow, realistic development over the course of a few days or weeks. I didn’t like any of them!

Princess Sorrowlynn is NOT a badass, fantasy heroine so if you’re here for that you will not be finding it! She’s unskilled and honestly makes some very drastic, stupid decisions such as choosing to be fed to a dragon over being married to a “barbarian”. She also turns out to be quite the “special snowflake”….

Golmarr is one of the Antharian princes and was kind of interesting but he, too, makes stupid decisions. For one, he made Sorrowlynn believe she would have to be a sister wife  to his brother and would she would not be treated well which ultimately made her choose the dragon. What a great guy!

The rest of the characters were just as boring and badly written, I’m sorry but I cannot get behind characters that have dialogue this painful to read through!

romance

Insta-Love to the max! I haven’t seen it this bad in a while but this is pure, 100% insta-love folks. The romance feels so forced too and there is zero chemistry between the characters but that can be just because the dialogue isn’t that great. No slow-burn romance here at all.

in conclusion

I did not like this book and I’m really sorry to say that since I was really looking forward to this book. There was nothing in here redeemable for me so it’s a bit of a total loss.

What I Liked:

  • The dragons and their interesting concept of treasure

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The writing was awful including the dialogue
  • The characters were flat and undeveloped
  • Everything in the plot was way too convenient
  • Major insta-love

RECOMMEND

 I can’t say I’d recommend reading this since there are so many better YA Fantasy books out there.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Book Review: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

 

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There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

review

I really wish I could rate this higher, and don’t mistake a 3.5 for bad by any means, but my expectations were so high  for this book and I felt more than a little disappointed with it. I was expecting to absolutely LOVE this book after loving her other two books “A Darker Shade of Magic” and “Vicious” but I really don’t think this book is anywhere near that level (regardless of the fact this is YA and the others are not). So I enjoyed it but not nearly as much as I was supposed to.

PLOT

I absolutely loved the concept for this story I think it’s unbelievably interesting as well as unique but I think it was still a little lacking. First of all I thought the entire world was extremely underdeveloped, which I may forgive depending on how the next book goes, but still! We are essentially thrown right into the story with absolutely no clue as to what’s going on or why or anything really and then out of nowhere we are hardcore info-dumped which only confused me more. All in all I think we had a lack of information and when we received it, it didn’t really do a whole lot to help.

Even though I felt this way I still thought the world building was fantastic! We have some terrifying monsters who feed off of humans and humans who not only fight the monsters but also each other in a territory war for V-City. So the monsters are probably the most interesting part because they all have different classes, weaknesses, and strengths etc but there’s also a very Romeo & Juliette feel to the story as well with Kate and August on opposite sides of the territory war.I thought overall this made the story super unique and interesting, this is what kept me reading!

I also really loved how good and evil are blurred in the story it’s all one big grey area which is actually what I kind of expect from Schwab’s stories. We are meant to question who the real monsters are in this book (which come on who doesn’t love that right?).

The plot is also slow to start and takes a little time to unravel and for me it felt like I read half the book before things got really good. So I wouldn’t expect fast pacing and action around every corner because “This Savage Song” doesn’t have that, what it does have is some pretty great thrilling and intense scenes. Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was unputdownable for me.

No romance! That’s right guys there is no typical, cliched YA romance in this book! No insta-love, no love triangles, no romance period! What we did get was a very nice friendship between the two main characters, will it develop into something more? Maybe, only time will tell. I thought this overall was a breath of fresh air for a YA book.

Also the ending! I both loved and hated it because on one hand it was absolutely amazing and unexpected but also because it was such a cliffhanger, I’m torn between hating cliffhangers (because I lack patience) and loving how they make me crave more!

characters

I did really like Kate and August both but at the same time I felt like they were a little flat and underdeveloped, like everything else.

Kate was strong, determined, and definitely not a damsel. All she wants is to prove herself to her father who runs the North half of V-City. Although I will say she got a little annoying at times because her stubbornness lead her to make the not-so-greatest of decisions.

August is quiet, shy, and clever I actually liked his character more than Kate’s. I felt more sympathetic towards him and his problems versus Kate’s because of his nature.

I also really enjoyed how the friendship developed between Kate and August I loved that they grew so close throughout the story and yet remained out of the romance zone.

The secondary characters could have all done with a development overhaul since as important as they were to the story they didn’t seem like it, they were pretty boring and lacked the complexity I thought they deserved.

in conclusion

Overall I did enjoy this book but I didn’t find it particularly game-changing or mind blowing, I definitely expected to love a book by Schwab much, much more. It’s a good book and I can see how everyone enjoyed it a little more than me but I was a little disappointed.

What I Liked:

  • The overall premise/concept of the book
  • Morally ambiguous plot/characters
  • World building (even if it lacked a little)
  • No romance
  • That hellish but wonderful ending
  • The writing because it’s Schwab of course

What I Didn’t Liked:

  • The extreme lack of information especially at the beginning of the book
  • Info-dumps (when we actually got information)
  • Underdeveloped world building and characters
  • Slow pacing throughout

RECOMMEND

I actually would recommend reading this since it is an interesting concept and it wasn’t terrible but I’d say if you’ve read Schwab’s other books (such as “A Darker Shade of Magic” or “Vicious”) than I’d maybe lower your expectations for “This Savage Song” or just give it a skip all around because this doesn’t even compare to them.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

 

Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

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The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

review

I just have to rate this book a full five stars! I don’t usually enjoy historical fiction or romance but the way these ladies wrote it I couldn’t help but love it. It’s hysterical, fun, light-hearted and so very unique and I want you all to go read it ASAP!

PLOT

The story in “My Lady Jane” is essentially a twist and sort of retelling of English history involving the Lady Jane Gray, King Edward VI, and Lord Guildford Dudley who are our POV narrators. So if you love the history of this time period then I’d say you’ll probably have a lot of fun making comparisons between this book’s re-written history and the real history, I know I did!

A large part of deciding whether you’ll love this book or not really depends on what kind of mood you’re in and what your sense of humor is like. DO NOT go into this book expecting something tense and dramatic because it most definitely is not any of those things. “My Lady Jane” is silly, light, and charming and full of hilarious lines and references to Monty Python and The Princess Bride (although on the latter I cannot specify too much as I haven’t seen the entire movie, don’t kill me). So if all of those things sound appealing to you then you’ll  with no doubt love this book if you don’t take it too seriously because the book itself certainly doesn’t.

While I don’t necessarily consider this YA Fantasy since it’s mostly a historical retelling it does contain some elements of fantasy such as magic. Basically we have Edians who have the ability to shape-shift into a certain animal and live among the rest of us normal humans. I very much loved how this magic was incorporated within the “real” history and plot both while also adding to the overall cuteness and fun of the story.

The pacing was great too, I thought there was never a dull moment with “My Lady Jane” and couldn’t put it down. Another great feature was the writing I thought it was just brilliant, fun, and blended everything together nicely making the book a joy to read through.

Overall I think the plot has plenty of cute romance, action, and adventure all seamlessly melded together in very clever ways. It’s not too dramatic or serious and just a very fun, entertaining story.

characters

The characters were all absolutely fantastic and I adored them, they were clever, witty, and interesting. Each of our protagonists developed in their own way throughout the story and had vivid personalities of their own making for some fun and three dimensional characters. I don’t have any issues with the main characters whatsoever and even the villains were fun to hate….because no one can hurt my precious characters! No one!

Jane is a girl after my own heart, honestly probably one of the most relatable characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. She’s bookish, a bit silly, and quite spunky.

Edward was one of the more funny protagonists I thought his narration was hilarious. He’s also a big softy and generally I thought he was adorable and precious and needed to be protected at all costs.

Gifford, while a great character in his own right, was my least favorite just because I personally thought his personality didn’t shine as brightly as Jane’s and Edward’s. He was the more boring one for me while reading although I must say I DID love his perspective during certain parts that I shall not specify because spoilers!

romance

This romance was a winner and I will say when I am convinced to love a romance in a YA book then it is usually a five star read for me. It did not necessarily have me swooning but it was a well done, slow-burn, trope-free romance and really that’s all I’m really looking for. Even thought the romance is a big part of the plot it doesn’t ever take over completely and over shadow all of the other things going on, which is always appreciated by me.

Gifford and Jane were very cute and I felt that their romance was realistic because at first they don’t care for each other in the least bit and slowly fall in love. Realistic romance folks! That’s all I want! No tropes here!

in conclusion

I LOVED this book plain and simple and had zero issues with any of the aspects of it. I NEED these authors to write another book together STAT!

What I Liked Loved:

  • The romance was sweet, trope-free, and not the sole focus
  • The protagonists were all wonderful, funny, and developed
  • The plot is clever, unique, and hilarious
  • The magic is interesting and adds a lot to the plot

What I Disliked:

  • Nothing. I rated it 5 stars for a reason!

RECOMMEND

YES! A BILLION TIMES YES! This book is perfection and I highly recommend reading it! Although like I said earlier if you want something more serious and dramatic steer clear but if you want a light, silly book that’s tons of fun then “My Lady Jane” is for you!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy