Published: September 2018 - Tor Teen.
Genres: Young adult / contemporary / thriller / romance
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual innuendo / infrequent strong language.
I was hooked by that premise and the fantastic cover. I had high expectations for the story inside.
The dialogue is good, but unfortunately the rest of the writing isn't. There's too much telling and heroine's point of view is distant. I also found the so-called humour extremely cringy and cheesy.
The characters do their job, I guess, but they aren't great. Everyone is vivid (yay!) but they're really annoying people ;) Kylene, especially. I hate how everyone loves her and thinks she's so hilarious and witty and smart and tough - even one of the bad guys admits she's smart, tough, and pretty. It grinds on my nerves. It's like the author's trying to make us love her character by having every character in her book like her. Ugh.
Kylene is also a real brat. She's so disrespectful to her peers, and she's a bully. She's also flipping arrogant ("Come on! You wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for me and my genius!")
Published: October 2018 - Balzer + Bay.
Genres: Young adult / high fantasy
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong violence / strong themes of abuse / graphic attempted rape / strong sexual innuendos
I buddy-read this novel with the lovely Di from Book Reviews By Di. We had a great time chatting, and you should check out her review HERE.
This was one powerful, original book. If you love character-driven dark stories that delve into relevant, hectic themes, go read this one!
I love how Arnold takes the "rescuing the damsel from the dragon" troupe and twists it into a horrifying but impactful tale of abuse and misogyny. She does it brilliantly, although disturbingly.
I adored the heroine, Ama, and I liked her relationship with her little lynx pet, too. The other characters in the story are equally vivid. But they're basically all villains, so I can't say I loved them ;)
My only problem with the story is the ending. It's satisfying to an extent, except it's also too abrupt. I wanted more of the story and character relationships to come to a head and be resolved. Unfortunately, they weren't. It's all too sudden and limited.