The Cruel Prince Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Holly Black

Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 370

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads

It’s official! I finally did it! I read the Cruel Prince MWAHAHAHA

Ahem . . . but I also have a confession. I ended up annotating this book – GASP!!! I couldn’t help it!!! One moment I was on BookTube browsing through some reviews and I happened to come across an annotation video and down the rabbit hole I went!! But truth be told, I kind of enjoyed my experience . . . cause I had a lot to say about this book!!! LOL

Summary (from GoodReads):

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 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.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal 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.

Characters:

Jude – Intelligent; Defiant; Determined: In a highly dangerous and political world where her kind are treated with the least amount of respect or acknowledgement, I was amazed at the level of endurance and strength she had to maintain her composure and also fight back when necessary. I loved seeing her internal battles as well where she tries to navigate through the world and determine whether she has the qualities of a human or Fae.

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Prince Cardan – Wicked; Cruel and Arrogant; I am not sure what to think of Prince Cardan since his treatment of other beings (faerie or mortal) are completely vile and absurd. Although there were moments where I noticed he does have his limits and you do have some sort of empathy towards him, I still do not consider him to be a completely good character – he seems to operate in the gray line . . .

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Final Thoughts

So the Cruel Prince is the first in the Folk of the Air series by Holly Black who is basically referred to as the Queen of Faerie stories and I can see why! This book was absolutely captivating from the start! Within the first 50 pages, the characters and plot already evoked so much emotion from me that I pretty much sensed that this was going to be a five star read. I just could not put it down. Holly Black’s writing is so addictive that I found myself reading one page after another which soon turned into late night reading routine! I have no regrets!

This book was definitely more political than other YA fantasy novels I have read and I found that aspect to be quite refreshing. Throughout the course of the novel, Holly Black was able to place so many bread crumbs hinting at the upcoming climatic moment and she was able to do this so cleverly.  AND OMG the amount of twists and turns within this novel had my mind spinning – in a good way of course! There were times when I literally gasped!

On a side note, I found that annotating this book to be really helpful since I was able to read more carefully and fully immerse myself into this fantasy world. I think annotating also helped me retain more info and capture all the details since there was a lot of topics, issues, plot points which were discussed that underlining, tabbing and using index cards and post-it notes really helped me to read more carefully and I found it to be a great experience. I am not sure whether I will continue to annotate all my books but perhaps the ones which I know I am for sure going to enjoy.

But overall, I really enjoyed reading this first novel of this series and I will for sure continue on with the other books!

Have any of you read the Cruel Prince? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Tropes

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Hello everyone! Hope you are having a great start to your week! I’m here to take part with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt where we are talking about our favorite tropes! Let’s face it. Whenever we pick up books, we tend to find a lot of tropes interlaced throughout the pages but we have to admit, there are some which we can’t help but love.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

So without further ado, here are my favorite tropes:

Hate to Love (A Curse so Dark and Lonely, Stolen Songbird)

If you have previously read my blog, then you would know that I am not a fan of insta-love. The overall essence of it seems to be quite unnatural to me and it sometimes interferes with the flow of the story that it becomes unpleasant to read. I am a fan of the “hate to love” or the “enemies to lovers” trope where there are obstacles/ misunderstandings inhibiting the main characters from growing close but once they tend to move past these challenges, their relationship proceeds in a more natural and realistic way where it is interesting to see their growth.

Boarding School (Harry Potter, Truly Devious)

The overall atmosphere created with a boarding school (especially magical ones like Harry Potter) completely intrigues me. In one aspect, the attendees seem to have more freedom or independence to go on quests or expeditions and the overall themes woven into these stories are quite different.

Undercover/ Disguise (Spin the Dawn, An Ember in the Ashes)

One of the the aspects that I enjoy in stories involves characters who go undercover into dangerous locations or disguise themselves to take part in challenging missions since this would create escalated tensions and the high stakes that keep you on the edge of your seat. When I first read An Ember in the Ashes, I grew fearful for one of the main characters who had to enter into a dangerous Academy. With this trope combined with the fast moving plot, I ended up staying up until 4AM to complete it! HAHA

Forbidden Love (Prisoner of Night and Fog)

Another potential weakness of mine. The Forbidden Love trope. I am not sure why I seem to enjoy these so much since they are quite heartbreaking and tend to place me into a bucket of emotions. I guess it could be the realistic aspect of it? Love does not come easily and I think this trope showcases that (maybe in heightened levels). It also poses so many challenges that the characters have to overcome and also tests their level of passion, respect and loyalty for one another and I found that this aspect creates such a great read!

Gang of Misfits (Six of Crows, Aurora Rising)

Don’t we always love that ragtag crew of misfits joining forces to save the world? There is just something enticing about that entire concept. I think part of it is that we love to watch an underdog face multiple tribulations and grow to beat the odds in the end. It’s completely unexpected and exciting and adding this to a storyline gives something to cheer for.

Team Up! (The Lunar Chronicles, Orange, Harry Potter)

One of the best things a novel can offer are quality friendships. I absolutely love watching friendships grow between characters and sometimes even between the most unlikely pair! It offers a different relationship interwoven into the storyline and it quite refreshing to read about.

Playful Banter (Stalking Jack the Ripper)

I swear. This is another one of my weaknesses! I absolutely adore those playful banters! Sometimes it may not between characters who are romantically attracted to another but also between really close friends. This tends to add a lighter atmosphere to a storyline and can help to alleviate the tension from time to time. And I can’t help but adore these types of couples!

The Chosen One (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Throne of Glass)

Ok, just to reiterate this for clarity purposes LOL – The Chosen One trope done right HAHA I think there are so many novels which incorporate this theme into their stories but there are certain aspects of this trope which needs to be carried out appropriately in order for it thrive. But once it is done right, this trope adds such a dynamic layer to the novel and brings so much thrill and excitement to readers like me. When you read about a moment when regular people find out that they are extraordinary, it makes you as a reader want to cheer for them since many people wish to see that as a reflection upon themselves.

A Book Lover (Sorcery of Thorns, Throne of Glass)

I absolutely fangirl over these characters! I mean as a book lover how could you not get excited over characters who share a similar interest to you? As soon as I learned that Sorcery of Thorns followed a story about a girl who worked in a magical library, I was automatically hooked and I knew I just had to read it!

AntiHero! (A Darker Shade of Magic, Vicious, Six of Crows)

It’s quite rare that we ever find ourselves following the villains of the story or characters who may not be completely good and tend to operate on a gray line. Such stories tend to create a world of possibility since we cannot typically predict what these characters may do. I think this is what makes it so interesting to read from their storylines and try to comprehend how and why they choose to do what they do.

So these were my top favorite tropes! Which ones do you tend to love? Do we share any similarities? Let me know your thoughts below and we can chat!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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WWW Wednesday – August 7, 2019

Hello everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your week! I’m here to share with you my current reading status with another WWW Wednesday post which is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words. 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What are you currently reading?

spin the dawn

I just started this one and it has been one of my highly anticipated reads of this year. I have not gotten too far into it but I do like the pacing and the writing. I really hope I enjoy since I heard nothing but great things about this book. Have any of you read Spin the Dawn? What did you think of it?

What did you recently finish reading?

the cruel prince

OMG!! OMG!!! I finally did it! I finally read the Cruel Prince!!! Whoohooo!

You know the kind of books that you finish and countless days later, you still think about it? Yep, this was one of them and it will probably be one of my favorite reads of this year. And please stay tuned for my book review because OMG we need to fangirl about this together!

What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Oh Lord. . . my never ending TBR! It was difficult but I managed to narrow it down to these two – Queen of Shadows by Sarah. J Maas and Vicious by V.E Schwab and I am in a serious dilemma!!!

I hope you all find it easier to find your next read than me haha Thank you all for reading and I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Settings I’d Like to See More Of

Hi Everyone! I hope you all are having a great start to your week! And since it’s Tuesday, it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday post! This week’s prompt is regarding settings that we would like to see more of. I always view reading to be my escape from my normal life into alternate worlds of magic, intrigue and thrill and I feel that a proper setting can capture those attributes. For some reason, I was unable to come up 10 settings but I have managed to list my top 8 below:

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

And without further ado, LET’S GET INTO THE LIST!

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Carnivals

Ever since I read the Caraval series, I was amazed at what Stephanie Garber was able to build upon with a simple setting such as a Carnival/Circus. She added so many interesting plot lines, characters and magic which made the reading experience even more divine. I hope to pick up more novels that take place in this setting!

Asian/ African/ South America

Doesn’t diversity just add to the beauty of novels and reading in general? I absolutely love novels which are inspired by different cultures since it offers us so much more insight about the world around us and in addition, it makes for a great read as well. I was absolutely stunned with Children of Blood and Bone. The incorporation of African folklore along with an intriguing fantasy world made it such a more pleasure to read.

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Under the Sea 

I’ve always loved the water ever since I can remember and it seemed to be pretty obvious to people around me since my closest friends truly believe I’m part mermaid LOL I think the interest also expands to novels as well. Whether it be about a seafaring adventure, pirates, mermaids or sirens I know for sure that I will be immediately interested!

Schools

Harry Potter. Fangirl. School for Good and Evil. Truly Devious. Long story short – ever since I read these novels which were all in a school setting, I realized how much I loved these types of stories and only wanted to read more. It just creates a difference ambiance overall as compared to other novels and gives so much more room to explore different themes and plots.

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Space

I will admit it. I am avid lover of sci-fi novels! They are so interesting and have the potential to create such intriguing and gripping plot dynamics which are absolutely captivating. Ever since I read novels like Illuminae and These Broken Stars, I was stunned at why I never picked up books of this genre before. And eventually it lead me to series like the Lunar Chronicles and OMG my fervor only grew!

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Library

I’m actually reading A Sorcery of Thorns right now and “Libraries” popped into my head and I just had to include it! I mean who wouldn’t want to visit a magical library? That’s the dream!

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Fictional Worlds

There is something magical and wondrous about traveling into worlds which are drenched in complete fantasy and are completely different about our own. It allows room for the cultivation of interesting political and magic systems which are so interesting to read about. Novels such as A Darker Shade of Magic, Six of Crows and An Ember in the Ashes are just a few which I have thoroughly enjoyed which transport readers into worlds of intrigue and enchantment. Fantasy is my weakness. Can you tell? HAHA

World War II 

Recently I have a strong interest in the historical fiction genre and although there are plenty of books which are in the WWII category, I have listed it here since this type of setting does peak my curiosity. Ever since I read the Prisoner of Fog duology,  I developed a strong interest in worlds within this time period so if you do know any good novels within this setting, please let me know! I would definitely check it out!

What are your favorite settings?

Until next time keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Can you guys believe it is already July??? LIKE HOW?? I felt like the new year just began!! It’s crazy!!! Can time slow down for a second? Please have mercy on this poor soul . . .

Ahem. So since we are mid way through the year, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to do this tag! Thank you so much to the lovely Jane @ BloggerBooks for tagging me! And please check out her blog, because it is absolutely amazing and I love all our bookish conversations!

This tag was originally created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books. Without further ado, let’s jump into the questions!

1. Best Book You’ve Read so Far in 2019

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

OMG. This was so far the best read of 2019. I loved everything about it: the plot, the characters, the setting, the banter, the character dynamics/ growth, etc. It was all done so well! This series definitely made Kerri Maniscalco as one of my favorite authors of all time! She is absolutely brilliant and if you have not picked up the series yet, I highly recommend it!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

 2. Best Sequel You’ve Read so Far This Year

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Finale by Stephanie Garber

Another stunning read of 2019. GAHHH It did not take long for the Caraval series to become one of my favorite series of all time. Each book just got better and better! The world was so different and magical from any other fantasy book I have read and I loved the journey the characters go through with each book. I loved that the plot focuses on the journey of two sisters since this is something I can relate to since I have a younger sister myself. Just Brilliant!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Really Want To

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I am kind of bending the rules here since I am currently reading this but it still fits the category 🙂 The writing is exquisite!

4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

There are so many upcoming releases for this year that its so hard to pick one. Even after attending BookCon, I was surprised to learn that there were so many new and upcoming titles so I have listed a couple here which I am eagerly anticipating!

 

5. Biggest Disappointment of the Year

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I don’t think I read anything this year which turned out to be a huge disappointment. The lowest I rated any of my books was probably a 3.5 out of 5. If I were to choose, I would probably say Girls with Sharp Sticks? While I did enjoy the plot, themes and twists, I was not a huge fan of the writing style and some of the characters. It was not a terrible read, but I thought it could use some improvements here and there.

6. Biggest Surprise

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Being a book in the mystery genre, I think this novel fits the question completely. I did see a few reviews for this book ever since its release and I never got around to reading it until early this year. I will say I was pleasantly surprised and it evoked my interest into the mystery genre. I can’t wait to read the next installment – I heard that one was even better than the first! AHHHH!!!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

7. Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I recently just finished this novel and OMG it was absolutely brilliant. I was hesitant since I saw a couple of mixed reviews but I ended up loving it! I understand that Brigid Kemmerer might be an author that a lot of other book bloggers know, but I recently just discovered her with this novel. I am definitely looking forward to her next book in the series (especially with that ending!!)

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

8. Newest Fictional Crush

LET 2019 BE THE YEAR I DISCOVERED THOMAS CRESWELL!!!! MWAHAHA

(I’m totally sane I SWEAR!)

9. Newest Favorite Character

Audrey Wadsworth – This girl is epitome of strength, intelligence and empowerment!

10. Book That Made You Cry

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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Can we talk about character growth? THIS WAS PHENOMENAL! I was absolutely stunned at how well Sarah was able to showcase emotion, pain and struggle with this installment. After reading this book, I am really looking forward to read the next one ASAP.

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

11. Book That Made You Happy

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

WAIT! I have my reasons for this one!

To be honest, I did not know which book to choose for this question. I have not read any comedic or light-hearted contemporary books this year so its difficult to answer. However, if I were to choose one book, I would most like go with the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. The banter between the two leads always put a smile on my face!

If you would like to read my review of the first book, you can check it out HERE!

12. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought or Received This Year

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

I mean take a look at this cover:

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13. What Book Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

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Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

After marathoning the first three books (which were awesome), I had to step away from reading for awhile due to work/classes. I am finally at a state where I can read more books and spare more time diving back into this fantasy world so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

14. Favorite Book Community Member?

OMG! It’s really hard for me to choose one specific member within the book community as an answer. Ever since I joined, I met so many great bloggers who have been so supportive and inviting on this platform so I extremely thankful to each and everyone who have read my posts, shared their opinions and have showcased their support! Ya’ll are the best!! ❤

I tag these lovely bloggers:

Joanna @thegeekishbrunette

Becky @becky’sbookblog

Dini @dinipandareads

Kristi @Confessionsofayareader

Jennifer @sleepingsuburb

Jess @crowingaboutbooks

Macy @afictionreality

Grace @Sheheartsfiction

If I tagged you and you have already done this, so sorry! And if you do decide to do it, have fun! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Auto Buy Authors

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Hello everyone! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week’s prompt is all about our favorite authors and which ones we would most likely auto buy from. I will say that it was a bit difficult to come up with 10 authors since I only thought of 6; but nevertheless, I find their work absolutely amazing and I hope you enjoy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, let’s move on towards the list!

Marissa Meyer

The first author I thought of when reading this prompt had to be Marissa Meyer. Ever since her Lunar Chronicles series, I was absolutely addicted to her stories and writing style. I grew to be an even bigger fan after Heartless which was a backstory of the Queen of the Hearts and that was such an interesting take on fairy tale re-tellings since there is not a lot of literature which focuses on the villains. I am currently on the recent Renegades series and while it is not my favorite of her works, it is definitely one that I will be continuing on with.

 

Victoria Schwab

Now who doesn’t love Victoria Schwab? She is one of the authors I truly admire since she offers such diverse characters and intriguing stories/ worlds which we can’t help but drown into. Along with her writing skills and amazing story telling capabilities, it’s no wonder why she is so revered within the book community!

 

Stephanie Garber

The Caravel series by Stephanie Garber easily became one of favorite series of all time. The world is so different from anything else I have read and her themes of sisterhood, strength and love was beautifully interlaced throughout the series. Since this series has come to a close, I am so curious as to what project she will attempt in the future but I will for sure be picking up her next book!

 

Kerri Maniscalco

This series soon became a favorite of mine. After hearing many positive reviews about the first book, I really wanted to see what all the hype was. With the combination of amazing characters, hilarious banter and a thrilling plot line, I was completely hooked on this series and I can’t wait for the final book!

 

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Sabaa Tahir

The Ember in the Ashes series was an auto buy for me. I loved the first novel and as soon as I read it, I couldn’t wait for the next installment. She is amazing in developing plots where there are high stakes, danger and never ending twists and turns. I am eagerly anticipating the release of her final book to this series and I will for sure be picking up whatever future project she plans to do.

 

Sarah J. Maas

Ever since I picked up the first book of the Throne of Glass series, I was automatically hooked. Sarah is absolutely brilliant in building her world, creating stunning characters and writing addictive plots which we can’t help but be consumed by. I do understand that there is some controversies with her novels which she tried to correct with her latest releases but as a whole, I do think she is amazing in crafting superior fantasy worlds.

Hope you all enjoyed reading! Who are your auto buy authors?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“I’m always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.” 

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Published: January 29th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA

Pages: 484

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Ok. That ending had me shook! OMG!! It’s going to make an interesting set up for the next book and I will definitely be reading the sequel! It took me some time to get used to the characters, but after a few pages, I found myself glued to the book eagerly anticipating what’s going to happen next. If you have not picked this one up, I highly urge you do because it was an awesome twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale!

Summary (from GoodReads):

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Characters

Harper – Expressive; Compassionate; Strong; – What can I say? I really enjoyed reading Harper’s perspective. She is a strong character but I liked her since she was different from the typical YA leads since she exhibits a balance of strength and emotion. She loves her family – her brother and mother  – and is persistent to find them. Despite having Cerebral Palsy, she is still a determined individual and that’s what makes her so inspiring.

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Rhen – Strategic; Disheartened; Trapped – Rhen was just the sweetest. In the beginning we see him to be a tortured soul whose glimpses of hope are constantly being depleted and we can’t help but feel for him.

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Grey – A character who slowly grew on me. Initially, it was hard to discern his qualities due to his stoic personality; however, as time went by he slowly started to reveal layers of his character and it made me appreciate him even more.

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Final Thoughts 

I will admit that it took quite some time for me to get into this novel. I am not sure why but it did progress quite slowly in the beginning. However, within the 100 page mark, I noticed a lot of interesting dynamics and plot elements being introduced and this caused me to grow more intrigued. Since this book was described to be a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, I already had preconceived notions on how the plot would play out but I was surprised to see the different elements which were being introduced into the story. I found it to be refreshing since it offered a new look into a world which was build within this fairy tale backdrop.

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I also appreciated the hilarious banter between the characters! It brought a lighter atmosphere to the novel’s dark ambiance. The novel also intertwines the themes of inner strength and resilience against the most overwhelming and gruesome tribulations. It was amazing to see these characters go through this incredible journey to become the best version of themselves. The romance was a slow burn and I loved seeing the progression of their relationship and how they grew to be bit more open with each other. It made everything quite believable. The only reason why I could not give this book a complete 5 star rating was because I ended up questioning a few plot details here and there and I did have a couple of questions on certain issues. But overall, I really enjoyed it and I personally think this is the best Beauty and the Beast re-telling out there!

Have any of you read A Curse so Dark and Lonely? What did you think of it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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