Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Love Square...Round Two

Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 356
Publication Date: November 8th, 2011
Source: Bought
Previous Posts: Birthmarked ReviewPrized Review, Birthmarked Re-Read
Goodreads Description

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives, only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code and the oppressive rules of Matrarc Olivia. Meanwhile, two brothers claim her attention as they attempt to understand the environmental trap that keeps the people of Sylum captive, and suddenly Gaia must contend with the exciting, uncomfortable, and altogether new feeling of being desired.

But when someone from her past shows up, Gaia discovers that survival alone is not enough and that justice requires sacrifice.

WHEN I First Read
October 13th, 2012

WHAT I Remember
A really crazy new society that Gaia ends up finding past the forest. Not one, not two, but THREE guys vying for her attention to which I think, 'Fuck you Enclave and labeling her a freak just because she has a scar.' Heart-pounding anxiety as to WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. Bribing my charge nurse to let me leave work early so I could finish reading this book...no joke...that happened. Leon...so much feeling for Leon. Gaia having to find her fiery heart. Lots of feels. Lots and lots of feels.

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read
Birthmarked and the rest of the series holds a special place in my heart. I was going through some things that made me question my own character and personality and ability to be loved. Gaia is one of the strongest heroines I have ever read about and I drew strength from her and from Leon who loved her BECAUSE of her fiery strength and fierce personality. I read these all together and so quickly I will most likely use this exact paragraph in the future re-read posts of the next books. Sorry not sorry. (Yep, leaving that same paragraph as from the last re-read.) I remember this book specifically because I could not stop reading. My stomach was in knots with anticipation and there is a crazy amount of drama that I just loved. Other people might not but I loved it! Can't wait to get back into it!

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading
I loved it even more! I remembered there was a ton of drama but re-reading it made me see it wasn't all that crazy. I mean, it was, but in a good way. The society that Gaia finds herself in in Sylum is very different from anything she (or I) am used to. Lots of anger I remember feeling at one particular character is still present but I love re-living the swoons. This book has a lot of complex emotions so while it hurt at times to read Leon and Gaia's anger and pain, it was so worth it in the end.

WOULD You Re-Read Again?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!! I liked it even more on the second read because the drama I thought I remembered as a little far-fetched actually made a lot more sense on this read. I loved it. I loved it so hard because the situations and drama just felt so real to me and I loved the romance that occurred. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

How To Make a Whole

 "In my essay for San Fran, 
I'd written about how I'd always felt like there was something magical about taking bits and pieces of the world around me 
and creating something whole.
It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, 
then it meant that everything had potential.
And maybe people were like collages--no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered."
--Heather Demetrios

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Pages: 400
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2015
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Goodreads Description

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.
The Writing

Where do I begin with this? If you follow any other blog besides my own, it's okay I know you do :), then I'm sure you'll have already seen raving reviews about this book and all the 5 star reviews in the world on Goodreads. And if you're like me you're probably eyebrow raising thinking, 'ok, really? Is the book that good?' Trust me, nobody is more of a skeptic on all the 5 star ratings than me. And you'll probably already have high expectations of this book without meaning to, it's totally natural. However, I am here to urge you to not only read this book but seriously go into it with zero expectations. It's not that I don't think this book will live up to them, I truly think it will, but it's almost impossible to truly enjoy a story if you're expecting it to blow you mind. And I don't want that for you or this book. Why? Because this book is something. And by something, I mean real.

The writing of Heather Demetrios can only be described as real. The setting she takes us to, the characters she breaths life into, and the situations she writes about are so real that I felt like a longtime resident of Creek View. There is something completely underrated about an author's writing style that is simplistic yet poignant. Demetrios writing is not brimming with unnecessary details or analogies. It is simply beautiful in it's descriptions and makes you feel like you're sitting right next Sky in the overwhelming heat on a vinyl chair in the lobby of a motel. I can't describe it any more eloquently that this writing transpires you to this blink town and kind of makes you want visit. Who doesn't want a themed motel room?

The Characters

The characters of Skylar and Josh are just...brilliant? Amazing? Real? Yes, sorry not sorry I'm going to be redundant because if you take anything away from this review know that this story is raw and honest and just freaking incredible. Ok, anyways. Sky and Josh are two people from a small town who both want to get out. Josh did this by joining the Marines a few years earlier and Sky can't wait until September when she can go to Art School in San Francisco. Josh is recently home from Afghanistan after losing his leg and obviously that has a big impact on his life post-war. Sky and Josh worked together and the Paradise motel and ever since Josh has been back Sky has been looking at him in a different way. Sky is not into the party scene or becoming a "typical" Creek View girl so she's always felt like an outsider. Love this about her! I love that she doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't do anything that could compromise her future. She is so driven and artistic and smart. I love her desire to do great things and she doesn't let her circumstances hold her back...for the most part. See below.

Sky and Josh are both dealing with their own personal issues and what was beautiful is how they reluctantly but let the other person help them. Oh, it's a long road don't get me wrong but I loved the give and take of Josh needing a friend and then Sky needing help. Josh is dealing with the effects of his deployment and losing his leg. His PTSD was handled so well and was so realistic. I loved his short chapters as an insight into his head. I think that this gave the reader the perfect amount of what his feelings were and what he was going through. Without it, I think we would have lost a lot of the give and take of their relationship and how he dealt with his dark days. The voice of Josh was heard plain as day which is a huge writing feat because his chapters were always short and in that small amount of time we get to know what Josh is going through perfectly.

Sky is...Sky is a character I want to adopt as my new BFF. There is a lot my teenage and young adult self can relate to with Sky. The most poignant part of this book for me was when a certain situation happens (no spoilers). A situation where she was on cloud nine believing that something was finally going to work out in her favor...only to have is completely destroyed in one of the worst ways. That feeling of euphoria and believing in happiness only to be shot down *once again* is something I can unfortunately relate to and it broke my freakin' heart. So much. Demetrios captures Sky's emotions and despair in the perfect way. That situation was handled so excellently and I commend her for taking such a delicate situation and making it raw and honest and...yes, real.

The Plot

The arc of this story is just fantastic. I loved what Sky has to go through in order to spread her wings. What she goes through is NOT easy and she is so mature and such a great person. She is a fighter and a survivor and I cannot say enough about her. Josh's arc is equally painful and he makes mistakes. The overall plot of this story and where it goes was the perfect amount of believable conflict and made our characters grow. They learn a lot about themselves, forgiveness, compassion, everything. This is a story about growing up and learning that life isn't always what we anticipate and sometimes we get dealt a shit hand in life but it is overcoming those bad hands and being better.

It Ended

There are very few books that I am actually sad to see ended. I'm usually ready for a book to end, even if I loved it, because in the best case scenario there is a happy ending and our characters are okay. While no spoilers here, I just wanted more of Sky and Josh. This really isn't a negative but I would LOVE a cute little novella about them after the story ends. I'm a greedy reader, always have been always will be, and I would love more time with these characters.

Backstage Pass
If you love contemporary, post-war stories, coming of age plot lines, or just a really well-written story...this one's for you.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jump Into My Sunlight Zone: The Mime Order Blog Tour

"Isn't it wonderful, how words and paper can embroil us so?
We are witnessing a miracle, dear heart."
--Samantha Shannon, The Mime Order

Genre: Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 528
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: The Bone Season
Goodreads Description

 Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.
Hey y'all! Welcome to my stop on the Mime Order blog tour! If you've read my blog before you know I LOVE LOVE LOVED Samantha Shannon's debut The Bone Season last year. It was hands down one of my favorite books of 2013 (that's when I read it). The world she creates and the characters she introduces us to are out of this world...literally. Which is why I'm SO EXCITED to be a part of the blog tour for The Mime Order, out next week! Eeep! This series is NOT to be missed and as part of my tour stop, I'm sharing my flailing 5 Star review of The Mime Order PLUS a fun pic of me with my own personal aura...WINNING! What color is my aura?...

The World

I re-read The Bone Season in prep for The Mime Order and while I loved TBS even more the second time around, it completely prepared me to go back into the dark world that is SciLo. I felt a mix of coming back home to characters I love...and also being completely in a new world. We were almost solely in Oxford in Sheol I in the last book and this time around we are immersed in the world Paige grew up in. This world is steeped in secrecy and costumes, violence and backstabbing, ghosts and spirits alike. I loved getting to know the world of the Seven Seals and just how they operated. It was also a shock to discover all the other gangs and how powerful Paige and Jaxon and Co, really were. Jaxon is...something else. Paige struggled throughout most of the book trying to decide whether he really did have her best interests at heart or if she really was only a Dreamwalker to him. An internal struggle that both lifted her up when she saw the lengths Jaxon went to in order to get her back as well as broke her heart when the insecurity of only being as important as her ability crept in. I struggled right along with Paige and went back and forth to discover what his true intentions really were. Are they pure?...You'll just have to read to find out :)

The Mollisher

We got to know Paige the prisoner extremely well in TBS and in this installment we get to see her as she was before the capture and Sheol I...as the mollisher. The 'don't mess with me or I'll break your skull' protege of the White Binder. Truth be told, I knew how strong she was as evidenced in TBS but holy shit, I never knew the depth of her badassery...no, that's not a word but I made it up for Paige. Total badass. She takes zero shit and gives zeros fucks as to what people think of her. Don't mess with her, she will kick your ass. Not only do we get to see the Paige from before, we get to see Paige grow into herself. She no longer runs in fear from her ability, she now wants to control it and use it to right the wrongs of Scion. She might not always like the extent of her abilities and what she has to do with them, but she has been given them and she does her best to do what is right. What I love about Paige is that her heart is always in the right place. She looks for the path of least harm and fights for those without a voice...see below...

The Revolution

Y'all...let me TELL you how much I love a good revolution story. It might be my favorite theme in all of literature...it is actually, it really probably is. The fight against injustice is something I always find inspiration in and Samantha Shannon does not hold back in showing us the realities of actually rebelling against oppression. It's not like in the movies and it is not easy. It is hard fought with blood, sweat, tears, and spirit invasion. Paige deals with the harsh realities of the intricacies of rallying people and starting small and I loved this. The inspiring actions of Paige and Warden, both going against everything they have been taught to believe is so incredible. Their shared belief in doing what is right and fighting against Nashira and Scion is terrifying as it is brilliant. I am foaming at the mouth to see where this story goes and how this revolution turns out. Can I have ALL the books right now?!

The Words

The writing of Samantha Shannon continues to amaze me in it's simplistic yet intricate beauty. She weaves this dark world of gangs and spirits and violence and slavery, but so many passages bring forth this light and inspiration and beauty. I found myself reading paragraphs several times because they were so simply stated but so deep in their meaning. None of this is shown more to me than with the relationship between Paige and Warden (!!!!). Their connection is tenuous because of the perception of other people yet when they are together it is an explosion of feels. They don't even have to touch each other in order to get the feeling that their emotions towards one another are palpable. The heated glances and minuscule touches are something I lived for while reading. The slow burn and agonizing wait will only make for a more explosive finale. I both love and hate you for this Samantha :)


Really...nothing. I loved the pacing of the novel. While some people could argue this installment reads at a slower pace I would have to disagree. The strength of these books lies in the details. The characters and plot development is in depth and detailed without slacking on the action. I love that Shannon's writing gives us a complete story without sacrificing other plot point developments. It ebbs and flows and I can foresee the series as a whole as being a complete story arc with each book representing completely a major event of the story while also being a complete story in itself. I cannot wait for more.

Backstage Pass
If you love paranormal, amazing writing, intricate plot development, and in depth characters detail...this book is for you. And OBVIOUSLY if you love The Bone Season :)

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Mime Order blog tour! It's an amazing series and if you have not started it, I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fairest Blog Tour: Who's My Lunar BFF?

Hey guys!! Welcome to my stop on the Lunar Chronicles Blog Tour! We are here to FREAK OUT and FLAIL about all things Lunar Chronicles but ESPECIALLY the newest installment to the series...FAIREST! Can I use any more capital letters?...seriously? But for real, I'm super excited to be a part of this tour. I love these books and I cannot wait to read Fairest and Winter when it comes out! I cannot wait to get behind the mind of Queen Levana, I have a feeling we'll never look at her the same way again. SO, to kick off my stop of the tour, I want to talk about who my favorite character is from the series and why I want them to be my BFF.

And don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY below of paperback copies of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress! US/Canada only.

Who Is My Lunar Chronicles BFF?
It has to be Scarlet. 
Why? I'll tell you :)

Her Tenacity
Scarlet lives with her grandmother and loves her more than anything. The lengths she goes to in order to find out what happens to her is kick-friggin-ass. She never gives up. She fights even when people urge her against it. She teams up with somebody dangerous in order to figure out what is going on with her family. Never gives up, never surrenders.

She Is A Beauty Who Has Her Beast
Y'all know how much I LOVE Beauty and the Beast and Scarlet is definitely a beauty and in Wolf, she found her beast. Their relationship is witty, forbidden, and against all odds. Basically my favorite kind. I love that he fights against loving her and she fights right back to prove that he does. She doesn't give up on those that she loves...ever. Their romance is swoony and instinctual and the lengths they go for one another melts my heart. I cannot say enough about them because I seriously love them so hard. They are my favorite couple. 

Her Fashion Sense
Bitch can rock a cape better than anyone. I've been saying this for years, I want a cape. I want a cape. I want a cape. But seriously, I love her sense of fashion, solely for that cape. Not easy to pull off and combine that with her sexy red hair. Done. I wanna be in her closet. And BFFs share their clothes...so that cape is basically mine. 

She Is A Fighter
Scarlet fights for her Grandmother. She fights for Wolf. She fights for herself. This bitch is not one to mess with and I love her more for it. While I love all the other characters in this series, Scarlet is the one I want on my side as my BFF. Her loyalty is unrivaled and she is kind as well as fierce.

So! There you have it! Scarlet is my Lunar literary BFF in my head and I hope you love her, too!
If you haven't read the Lunar Chronicles yet check out my reviews of...
Sorry no Cinder review, read it pre-blogging! 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Lunar Chronicles Blog Tour!
Monday January 5

Tuesday January 6

Wednesday January 7

Thursday January 8

Friday January 9

Monday January 12

Tuesday January 13

Wednesday January 14

Thursday January 15

Friday January 16

Monday January 19

Tuesday January 20

Wednesday January 21

Thursday January 22

Friday January 23

Want To Show More of Your Lunar Chronicle Love?
-Become a fan of the Lunar Chronicles on Tumblr, where you can access Marissa’s tour schedule, wallpaper, the first page of Fairest, and more!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway of paperback copies of CINDER, SCARLET, & CRESS!
US/Canada Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Scars Make Us Who We Are...Round Two

Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 369 
Publication Date: April 1st, 2010
Source: Bought
Previous Posts: Birthmarked Review
Goodreads Description

IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother's footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

WHEN I First Read
October 12th, 2012

WHAT I Remember
A fiery heroine. A hot solider. A forbidden romance. Standing up for your beliefs. Loving your family fiercely. A fucked-up society that makes people give up their babies...good luck prying my kids from my hands, you rat bastards.

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read
Birthmarked and the rest of the series holds a special place in my heart. I was going through some things that made me question my own character and personality and ability to be loved. Gaia is one of the strongest heroines I have ever read about and I drew strength from her and from Leon who loved her BECAUSE of her fiery strength and fierce personality. I read these all together and so quickly I will most likely use this exact paragraph in the future re-read posts of the next two books. Sorry not sorry.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading
I loved it even more! I thought it would be a less visceral read the second time around because I KNEW what would happen but no. My chest still hurt. My heart was exploding with feels and I still found myself re-reading (see what I did there?) several passages over and over again. I also felt like I appreciated the simplistic complexity of the writing more. Marie Rutkoski's writing is intricate and deeply layered in a way that while the words might be few, the meaning is plentiful. I LOVED this. I found it brilliant and poetic and found meaning in things I missed the first time around. 

WOULD You Re-Read Again?
Yes. I read this book so thoroughly and intensely the first time that I remembered a lot of the plot...so of course what I was really after was the kissing because I remembered a lot of the plot details. With that said I did forget that Leon really wasn't too present in the novel until the last quarter of the book. Disappointed about that but I know how it ends and I know what comes up next. Which is both good and bad. Read this book people if you haven't yet...seriously. Dystopians are a huge fad now and I'm super picky with which ones I push and this is most definitely one of them. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Be True To Yourself

"We choose our own fate."
--Megan Shepherd, A Cold Legacy

Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 400
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: The Madman's Daughter & Her Dark Curiosity
Goodreads Description

After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.
The Drama

Now, I mean that title in the best way. The conclusion to Megan Shepher's Madman's series was not a walk in the park. This book was steeped in tension, moral dilemmas, and matters of life and death. Shepherd does not leave a stone unturned in regards to tying up loose ends from the previous books but in a way that does not feel like a rush to the finish line. It was paced well and had plot progression as well as resolution. I just really loved where the story went and how things were tied up. Obviously I am not going to give any spoilers but I am completely happy with how things concluded. The battle to get there was STRESSFUL because just as one thing ends and you breath a sigh of relief something else pops up to destroy our tenuous bubble of comfort. I honestly couldn't read fast enough  because I NEEDED to know if our characters were going to be okay.

Frankenstein's Monster

This part of our trilogy is a re-telling of Frankenstein and what a representation it was. The science and morality Juliet faces is epic. She was constantly struggling about what was right and what SHE believed it. While I felt it got a little tiresome at times, it definitely makes sense for her character. She needed to work through the painful process of examining her own beliefs and values and that she is NOT solely her father's daughter. She is her own person and can do what she wants to do. I loved seeing her go through this process especially after re-reading Her Dark Curiosity. I felt her journey was completely on point with where we left off in the previous books and I really just loved her working through her personal morality issues. I can't say enough how much I loved reading about this idea. The exploration of morality, life vs death, and the pros and cons of scientific advancement was amazing. It was so interesting to see each character have their own personal opinion on the matter and how it clashed with each other. Who believed what and what exceptions would each character make and why was just so interesting. The theme of this throughout the trilogy is fantastic and I kind of want to go back and re-read from the very beginning knowing now how it all ends.

The Genetic Dynamic

I love Juliet and I LOVE Montgomery but I was a little annoyed with how they both dealt with the aftermath of Juliet's father's experiments. I know that these two love each other deeply but it bothered me when Montgomery would try to push Juliet to be more like her mother or be like somebody she's not. And Juliet focusing solely on her father and thinking she had to be just like him was equally irritating. I understand this was part of the process she had to work through to find herself but it was irritating nonetheless. I wanted to shake them both a few times.

One Resolution 

While I'm really happy with how everything ended there was just one thing I was not happy about with a certain character. I really grew to like this character and wanted a happier ending for them. I know that's asking a lot but it really made me sad how this character ended up. *sigh*

Reserved Seating
I really enjoyed this series and loved what Megan Shepherd did with it. Fans of Victorian era books, Gothic stories, issues with morality, and character progression will really like this. And fans of this series already will not be disappointed in the final book. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Man Behind The Warrior

"We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & 
our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other."
--Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

Genre: Adult Greek Mythology, Re-Telling
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 384
Publication Date: September 20th, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Library
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Goodreads Description

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

I was rec'd this book during the #IShall and I was super excited. The summary sounded awesome with words like epic and breathtaking and original, I was all, SWEET! I'm gonna read a new take on the age old Trojan War, let's do this!....and then it just didn't turn out like I thought it would...read on, reader.

The Romance

Let's start with the positive. I did thoroughly enjoy the romance between Achilles and Patroclus. While it was not shocking or anything new I learned, and I'll talk about that more below, I thought their love was true and deep and very emotional. I never once doubted their love for one another which is hard to do in a book when conflict and other people become involved. The ending especially was extremely poignant and I was in tears, I'm a sap, tell me something I don't know. I knew what was going to happen but I never imagined Achilles reaction to it the way it was portrayed. It broke my heart and while I have issues with a lot of the other parts of the story, this is what the main core of the book was about. The love between these two men and their journey to do whatever it takes to be together.

The "Breathtakingly Original" Look

I'm quoting that from the summary, by the way. So, I'm no Greek historian by any means but I do love my Greek mythology books, re-telling, Googling about it, you name it. Whatever. Troy is one of my favorite movies and before it even came out, I google'd the tale of Achilles and the Trojan War and the first thing, and the only story I know of Achilles and Patroclus, is that they were lovers. So, imagine my giggling to myself when I see Troy and their interpretation is to try and pass them off as cousins...alright. Whatever works. So, maybe it's just me but when I hear Achilles my mind goes to 'heel' and 'loved Patroclus' so this whole original idea this book is putting down...I'm not picking up. This story wasn't new, it wasn't original, it was the same damn story of the Trojan War in the big picture that I've always known. SPOILER ALERT IF YOU DON'T KNOW GREEK MYTHOLOGY. Are we supposed to enlightened or surprised when Achilles snaps and finally goes after Hector because of Patroclus' death? I have no idea. I don't know other people's knowledge going into this book or what WAS supposed to be original but it isn't this. Again, maybe it's just me.

The Fillers

So according to Greek lore, Achilles has a son with princess Deidamia on this island. Achilles is there because his mother tries to hide him from the war. How does she do this? Well, she has him put on a dress and try and pass himself off as a lady of the court...back the train up. Up to this point, mind you, Achilles is described as beautiful in the face with feminine features HOWEVER he is also described as being taller than most other men...how the actual fuck you think he can pass for a woman if he's taller than most men? C'mon man, the readers are smarter than this. I know this is also part of Greek mythology but let's make it believable at least. Tell us his mother weaved some goddess magic and made him look like a chick. Tell me she turned him into a female, I'll even believe that, it's the gods they can do whatever they want. Just tell me something as to why everyone in the court would believe this huge human is a woman. I don't know, this just bothered me.

The Writing

I'm a fan of poignant writing and it definitely worked at the end but throughout the entire book up until that point I couldn't really feel connected to the story. I felt more like an outsider watching the story then really immersed and invested in the characters. The writing while trying to be philosophical and profound also felt jilted and superficial. I can't describe it any other way except it felt like it was trying too hard.

Standing in Line Outside
I love Greek Mythology but this one just didn't work for me. I felt like I was reading the same story I already knew but if you know nothing about Greek Mythology or are interested in it, this might work for you.