Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows & Brodi Ashton {2.5}

36301023

Title: My Plain Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton
Series: The Lady Janies #2
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Mythology
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 26th, 2016
Pages: 464
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

 

When I read My Lade Jane as an ARC way before it came out, I loved it so much that I said I would read anything that these three authors come up with. And because of that, I didn’t even read the synopsis for My Plain Jane before requesting it and diving into it. Maybe it’s because of that, or maybe it’s because of my high expectations, but I found My Plain Jane to be lackluster and boring.

My Plain Jane is sort of a retelling of Jane Eyre, except in this story, we see that Charlotte Brontë and Jane Eyre are actually friends. It also showed how Charlotte came to write the book, and how things did not exactly happen as how Charlotte told it.

There were some things here and there that piqued my interest, but compared to the whole story arc, these are only bits and pieces. For the most part, I didn’t really feel that invested in the story. I couldn’t make up my mind as to whether the bringing in of ghosts made the story interesting or feel a bit juvenile. I really just felt kind of meh about the whole thing. I will still read the next book, but I just didn’t like this.

2.5 dragging and disappointing stars

Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen {2.5}

22205
Title: This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Viking Book for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 27th, 2002
Pages: Paperback, 345
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?


I don’t know if it’s because of my reading slump, or because I have outgrown romances like these, but I found this book to be lackluster and just simply boring. This is my first Sarah Dessen book (shameful, I know), and I have heard many great things about her books, so maybe it’s because I expected too much. Needless to say, I am pretty disappointed in this one.


This Lullaby seemed like a book that I would enjoy, since I have enjoyed similar books in the past. However, for a romance novel, I felt like this one lacks in the romance department. The book fast forwards how Remy and Dexter got together, and it doesn’t show romance while they were together. The only time that I actually felt the romance was towards the last part of the novel, and even that was subpar. What, Remy just suddenly thought that she should go talk to Dexter, and that was it? Honestly, I just didn’t care for the romance aspect of this novel, which is problematic because it’s a pretty great chunk of the novel.


I really liked the friendship aspect of this book for their camaraderie, but I didn’t like how it felt like they were fine at times and at other times trying to upstage each other or something. It felt like they were more like frenemies rather than friends who truly want to support each other. I didn’t get their dynamics, and it felt awkward to me.


I really like the family aspects, especially Remy’s relationship with her brother. However, I found it weird when they fought over Jennifer Anne and then just suddenly returned to normal. This whole novel just feels like a lot of things are in fast-forward mode, and I felt like I didn’t catch up well enough. I also really liked how Remy’s relationship with her mother became towards the end. It’s not far-fetched, but there definitely was some improvement.


Overall, I just didn’t really connect with Remy, the friendship, nor the romance. I also didn’t care for Dexter very much. I guess the only thing I liked about this novel is the family aspect, that’s why I gave it 2.5 stars.

Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi {2.5}

Title: Riders

 

Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Riders #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Mythology
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: February16th, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 384
My Rating: 2.5 Stars
Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

 

I read Veronica Rossi’s first series based on impulse. The author was coming to the Philippines, so I bought the first book to be signed. Little did I expect that I would be completely sucked in by the story. So when I learned that she was coming up with a new series, I was really, really excited! It didn’t matter what the story was about, it didn’t matter that there was no synopsis yet; I just wanted to get my hands on it immediately.
All those said, I felt like Riders was a disappointment. Maybe it’s because of my expectations, or maybe I just really didn’t like the writing style in this one. Riders is told by a character being interrogated in the present, so he has to narrate the whole story to the inquisitor. That said, this book is full of narratives and a lot of unnecessary thoughts from the main character. Because of that, this felt like a short story dragged to have 300+ pages.
Writing style aside, I think that the story is pretty amazing. It’s actually very interesting, and it definitely takes on a unique spin to the story. I believe that each of the characters were really able to embody the characteristics of the aspect they were representing. If only this didn’t feel draggy, I’m pretty sure that I would have loved this book.
Overall, I was just disappointed because I felt like it dragged on and on with lots of excessive narrative. It didn’t have the same effect on me as Under the Never Sky had, and I don’t think I will be continuing with this series.
2.5 excessively-dragging stars

Mini Arc Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi!


Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 342
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself. 

  I was given an Audiobook by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
When The Star-Touched Queen was first released, there was so much hype surrounding it that I truly wanted to read it someday. However, I was not able to buy a copy of this book yet when I was offered a copy for A Crown of Wishes, so I decided to read that one first. When I was given the chance to review the audiobook copy of this book, I immediately jumped at the opportunity because this book sounds amazing. Huge thanks to Macmillan Audio for this audiobook!

The Star-Touched Queen started out to be interesting, but then quickly turned boring for my taste. Throughout the duration of the book, I fell asleep multiple times which is why it took me a really long time to finish it. And by then, the continuity of the book has already been disrupted multiple times. The story was actually okay, but the pacing was just a tad too slow for me.

One thing I liked about The Star-Touched Queen though was the romance. It made me feel the feels, although it didn’t really progress in a realistic manner for me. I also liked all the conspiracies surrounding their romance, and the manner in which the secrets were unveiled. However, it felt like this book only centered on the romance part and not about anything else, which bothered me. Most fantasy books are exciting with a great story arc, but this fantasy felt like a contemporary romance novel that’s just set in a different world. Anyway, that’s just me.

Overall, this book was not quite what I was expecting, and I didn’t like the fact that it mostly centered on romance and not anything else.

2.5 limited-story-arc stars

ARC Review: Looking for Group by Rory Harrison!


Title: Looking for Group
Author: Rory Harrison
Series: NA/ Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 25th, 2017
Pages: Kindle, 368
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Thelma & Louise meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in a brave, timely YA about two teens who embark on a cross-country road trip.

Dylan doesn’t have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as “squalid,” and he sure as hell isn’t getting any love from his mother, who seemed to—no, definitely did—enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a “cancer kid.”

His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game—World of Warcraft—and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online: Nuba. And now that Dylan is suddenly in remission, he wants to take Nuba on a real mission, one he never thought he’d live to set out on: a journey to a mysterious ship in the middle of the Salton Sea.

But Nuba—real-life name Arden—is fighting her own battles, ones that Dylan can’t always help her win. As they navigate their way west, they grapple with Nuba’s father (who refuses to recognize his daughter’s true gender), Dylan’s addiction, and the messy, complicated romance fighting so hard to blossom through the cracks of their battle-hardened hearts. 

  I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
I was so not informed that this is going to be a road trip book. Let me tell you about road trip books – I usually do not enjoy them. I don’t know why, but when it comes to road trip books, I tend to get bored and I just want the book to be over already. This is why I tend to stay away from them. And in this world where change is constant, this fact seems to be something that has not changed yet.

In a way, my brain registers that this is an important book. It explores sexuality in a way that YA books I’ve read have not explored yet. But here’s the thing – I was so confused by how it was explored in this book as well. The main character Dylan is gay, and the other character Arden is a trans woman, so that makes her a girl if we are to follow the events in the book. But then Dylan and Arden falls in love, and it just made my brain go, “Oops, what the heck is happening here?” If someone knows how this works, please explain it to me because I just don’t get it, and I just can’t get over that fact.

Other than that, my main problem is that I couldn’t connect with the characters nor the story. I think I couldn’t connect with the story because of my luck with road trip YA novels. But the characters, I’m just so confused by them. I don’t want to say that Dylan is whiny, but Dylan is whiny. And Arden was just confusing. Also, I think that the characters don’t have enough depth to them. I feel like I couldn’t describe in a way that I could describe other characters, and that was a huge problem for me.

I liked the resolution of this book though. I like how everything was not perfect – because that’s how real life is like. It wasn’t sunshine and kisses and happily ever after, and we know that the story goes on even if we can’t see them anymore. The novel ended in a neutral note – neither happy nor sad – though I know that in the future there will still be a lot of happy and sad times. In that way, I think the ending was realistic.

Overall, I didn’t like much about the novel because I couldn’t connect with the story nor the characters. I like that it explores LGBT and cancer, but it had me confused as heck. 

2.5 another-boring-road-trip-novel stars

ARC Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge


Title: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Untitled #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  September 27th, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 448
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . 

  I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I have always been a fan of Rosamund Hodge’s writing. Despite the not-so-high ratings of others for her books, I found Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound to both be 4.5-star reads. However, with this one, I would just have to say that it has lost me. I didn’t really like it, and I wasn’t as sucked into the story as her other books. I think it might be because the other two are standalones and this one is part of a series, so the first two were complete and this one isn’t. 

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire is told in two perspectives of two simultaneous events that were happening. One is from the side of Runajo and Juliet, while the other is from the side of Paris and Romeo. I am usually a fan of dual perspectives, but for this one, I just hated it. I would have liked this book more if it were only told from the side of Paris and Romeo because I found that to be more interesting and badass. Also, I found that the alternating chapters just took away from the excitement that was currently happening, and it just disrupted the flow of the story. 

I also thought that this book was excessively long for a story that is not yet complete, and there were certain things that didn’t need to be included. I think if this was only done in one perspective, then that could have been avoided. I also didn’t like the awkward chapters in the middle, which recounted the three nights that Romeo and Juliet spent together. And ugh, the ending didn’t feel like a proper ending because there were still so many things left unresolved. I mean, I get that this book is part of a series, but I just really didn’t think that that ending was enough.

All that aside, there is one thing that I love from this book though. Even though it was marketed as a Romeo and Juliet retelling, it focused on friendship rather than romance. Yes, there are snippets of romance here and there, but mostly it focused on how the friendship between Runajo and Juliet, and between Romeo and Paris developed. That’s something that’s not usually explored in books, especially in fantasy books such as this one.

I also liked how the topic of obedience and loyalty to family was explored. In this novel, it showed how blind loyalty and obedience can bring you harm. This novel shows that we can only be obedient and loyal to our families to a certain extent, because otherwise we would be blinded by all the horrible things that this is causing.

Finally, I really like the title and the cover of this book. The title is so paradoxical, and it just rolls off your tongue easily. It gets confusing, but it’s part of the charm. The book cover, on the other hand, is so cleverly crafted. I mean, it was love at first sight for me when I saw the cover, but after reading it and looking at the details, I feel like the creator really knew what the novel is about. Ahh, I just really admire the book cover!

Overall, I was disappointed in this book because I have loved all previous Rosamund Hodge books that I read, but there are still some qualities to salvage this book for me. I’m not sure if I will read the next book, but I would surely love to know what happens.

2.5 disappointing stars

ARC Review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton



Title: Diplomatic Immunity
Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  September 6th, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 224
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Aspiring reporter Piper Baird decides to write a scathing exposé on the overprivileged students at an elite Washington, DC, school, only for her life to change when she begins to fall for the story’s main subject, in this new realistic contemporary romance from Brodi Ashton, the author of the Everneath trilogy.

Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity…it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

When I first read the synopsis for Diplomatic Immunity, I was really excited. I felt like this would be a unique story because of the journalism factor in YA, and I also knew that there would be romance between Piper and Rafael. I kind of expected there to be a hint of mystery as well, and I just sounded so interesting to me. However, I was disappointed by this book.

Piper Baird is the type of character that I hate reading about in young adult novels that I read. There are some parts when she sounded like a naive little kid, and then some part where she sounded her age, and yet some other parts like an old person. I just thought that it was confusing and robotic at some points that I just couldn’t bring myself to connect with her. I felt like the narrative was awkward, and the flow was not natural.

In terms of Rafael, on the other hand, he acts and talks like someone older than he is. Correct me if I’m wrong, but these two characters are just in high school, right? So I don’t know how he gets away with everything that he does, even if he has diplomatic immunity. I just felt like the characters weren’t acting like their actual ages.

This is a unique and interesting book, but it just didn’t capture me as much as I thought it would. However, its saving grave is the last few chapters of the book, where I finally connected with the story. The romance aspect of the last part was written so beautifully, and I can really feel what the character experienced, especially with that Post-Anon post. I just wish that the rest of the book could have been like that section, and then I surely would have loved this book!

Overall, this book was just not what I was expecting. I didn’t really connect to the main characters and the story until the last part, and by then it was too late for me to like this book. It is a unique story, but it lacks something.

2.5 not-what-i-was-expecting stars

Mini Review: Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger

Title: Change Places With Me 
Author: Lois Metzger
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  June 14th, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 224
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood with her stepmother and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was just a little different than it was before. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. Her hair and her clothes all feel brand-new. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There is no more sadness in her life; she is bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because, until very recently, Rose was an entirely different person—a person who is still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Change Places with Me has a synopsis that just made me need to know what’s going on. The synopsis is very vague, but in this instance it worked out perfectly. However, I can’t help but be disappointed.

Change Places with Me is a very weird book. The tone of the whole book is weird, and Rose talks as if she’s not a fifteen-year-old girl. Once you start reading the novel, what’s behind the mystery kind of gets predictable. The characters, for me, are not well-developed, and there was a hint of romance that was not explored. Or even if it’s just friendship, it still wasn’t explored well.

The resolution is a good resolution generally, but it’s not a proper ending to tie all lose ends. I felt like it ended abruptly, but the ending was really beautiful. However, even until the end, both the speech and the narration were still awkward.

I think the only thing that I liked about this novel is how much of a quick read it is. I read this in just a few hours and it’s easy to breeze through. The book is not so bad in the sense that it didn’t make me cringe. The book is just really not for me. Overall, it was kind of ‘meh.’

2.5 weird stars

ARC Review: Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

Title: Traitor Angels
Author: Anne Blankman
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  May 3rd, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 336
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Add to Goodreads

Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 
  I have always been fascinated by authors who can incorporate fiction or myths into history, so when I first heard about Traitor Angels, I immediately wanted to read it. Although I lack knowledge in history, I always find these types of stories intriguing. Anne Blankman is no doubt a brilliant author to have been able to weave this story, and for that I admire her talent.

  Traitor Angels is unlike any other book I’ve read. Set in the time of King Charles II, Traitor Angels tells the tale of the fictional characters Elizabeth Milton, the daughter of John Milton, and Antonio Galleti, a man from Florence. In this novel, Blankman weaved a conspiracy tale involving John Milton, Galileo Gallilei, Vicencio Vivani and the throne of England.

  I really didn’t expect this book to have religion embedded into it. As a general rule, I usually avoid books where religion plays an important role in the novel. As a result, I was taken aback a little by this. I also didn’t expect there to be mention of Galileo, but that was actually fascinating.

“Regardless of how fast you run, how far you go, you cannot get away from yourself.”

  Traitor Angels is a novel with blood-pumping action. Led by the badass main character Elizabeth, the characters took on a dangerous journey to discover what her father and Galilio has planted for them to find. Although the story was interesting, I found a few phrases to be repetitive, especially while they were figuring out some clues. I found them to be mentioned repetitively, and that was a bit annoying. Also, I sometimes found myself skipping some of the narratives because I just wanted to get to the end already.

  Traitor Angels is no doubt a work of art, but it just wasn’t for me. It’s different from what I expected it to be, although I still found the story to be interesting. As a whole, I just found it to be an okay book.

2.5 not-for-me stars

ARC Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes


Title: Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga #1
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date:  May 3rd, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 320
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Add to Goodreads

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah’s furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Queen of Hearts was one of my most anticipated reads of early 2016. Being a lover of retellings, this one was immediately on my list of books to read after first hearing about it, and it being a retelling for the Queen of Hearts was just gold because I’ve never heard about one before. However, I am sad to say that I was disappointed. Because despite the low ratings that some gave this book, I still really wanted to read it and I thought that my opinion will vary with them.

The thing with Queen of Hearts is that I had trouble imagining the world. Yes, it kind of is a given that we would be familiar with the world of Wonderland, but still, there were only few descriptions given in the book. I also hated the fact that I didn’t learn anything from reading this book. There were a lot of hinted mysteries, but no answers were given even in the end. I know that this is only the first book in the series, but I would have appreciated a little information. This actually reminds me of Legacy of Kings, because my problem with it is similar to this one.

That being said, Queen of Hearts is a pretty interesting book. With the mystery to keep me hooked, I read this one for only a day. And of course, it was interesting to see Dinah’s childhood. Actually, it’s kind of strange for me to say Dinah, because I only know her as the cruel Queen whose famous line is “Off with their heads,” which we see was actually something that her father used to say too.

In this book, we see that Dinah’s childhood is horrible. Her father is ruthless, and for some reason, he hates her with a passion. We also see a lot of anger in Dinah, even as a teenager, and we see that she was already feisty even back then. And then there’s Vittiore, her half-sister who came from nowhere, whom I think is not who she says she is at all. My mind is screaming, “Why, why, why?” which is the main thing that kept me from enjoying this book because none of those were answered.

Even so, I am interested in the 2nd book, although I am not 100% certain that I would read it. I would love to know what happened, of course, but maybe just a synopsis would suffice.

2.5 why-why-why stars