The Kiss of Deception

**** (4 out of 5)

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Kiss of Deception

NOOOOOO

One of my biggest pet peeves is when an author draws out a story into too many books.  I like when each book in a series has its own story-line that gets resolved at the end of book.  Then all the smaller stories lend to the bigger story.  There are some cliffhangers, but the plot itself is not left half finished.  Does that make sense? Think about Harry Potter.  In The Sorcerer’s Stone Harry recovers the stone.  In The Chamber of Secrets Harry kills the basilisk and saves Ginny.  In The Goblet of Fire the tournament is concluded.  Each book is its own story inside of the bigger picture.

Reading The Kiss of Deception I got completely sucked in.  I couldn’t put it down! But towards the end of the book, I started to get the feeling that there wasn’t enough pages left for everything that needed to happen.

Not Enough Pages

And I was right.  The story didn’t resolve anything.  It felt like the author wrote one really long story and just needed a dramatic place to make the cut between book one and book two.

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But it was still a really good book, and I am dying to find out what happens next.  So after finishing book one I had a mad dash to get the next book.  Of course I finished it at like 1 am so there weren’t a whole lot of options.  (I didn’t want the kindle edition because I got the first one in paperback and I like to read all the books in a series in the same format).  The day after I finished it, I went to Barnes and Noble during my lunch break, but they only had book three. The customer service guy helpfully offered to order it.  It would only take a week or two to come in.  Hells No! I can’t wait that long.  I politely declined and went back to work to order it on Amazon.  With Prime I got free two day shipping so it should arrive today.  In the meantime I am stuck with nothing to read because I don’t want to start a new book in the middle of reading a different series.  I did end up buying the third book from Barnes and Noble so that I won’t have to go through this again.

The only thing that kept me from giving The Kiss of Deception 5 stars was the sudden ending with no conclusion.  Other than that I loved the book.  It is fast paced with plenty of action.  Lots of plot twists and turns. Its amazing.

This book was also a first for me, in that I didn’t know who was who.  I don’t get a lot of firsts anymore so it was really cool and creative.  Most of the chapters are from the point of view of Lia, the runaway princess.  She meets two characters named Kaden and Rafe.  As the reader you know one is a prince and one is an assassin, but you don’t know which is which.  Every once in a while you get a chapter from Kaden or Rafe’s point of view, and other times you get a chapter from the prince’s or the assassin’s point of view.  The Kaden/Rafe chapters are about the characters interactions with Lia, and the prince/assassin chapters are about the characters internal thoughts, and interactions away from Lia.  The reader is left guessing who is who.  I kept flipping back and fourth trying to decide who I thought was which person.

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It was a super fun, unique way to experience the story.  About halfway through the book you do find out who is who.  (The reader finds out when Lia finds out)  After that all the chapters are Lia or Kaden/Rafe.  Pearson did a wonderful job keeping all the interactions/thoughts just vague enough that she didn’t give anything away until the big reveal.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy.  It is a really great read.  Just be prepared and have the second book ready when you finish!

 

The Fairytale’s Daughter

**** (4 out of 5)

fairytalesdaughter

I won this book in a GoodReads giveaway.  If you have never been to GoodReads its an awesome website where you can keep track of all the books you have read, and the ones you want to read.  Its also great for getting info about books, series and authors.  In other words I am a huge fan.  They also have this section for giveaways where you can enter to win free books (Yay!!).  In return they ask that, if you win, you write a review. (easy peasy).  So checkout the giveaways page, and remember to only enter for books you are actually willing to read!

Anyway, back to my story. I won this book in a giveaway.  Usually when you win a book they send just the book, but Carolyn Swanson went way above and beyond. In addition to signing the book, she also wrote me a nice little note and gave me a $15 gift card to Starbucks. (Yum!) Nothing is better than curling up in a snuggley blanket and drinking hot chocolate while reading a good book.  Or, in this case, the second best thing is reading sprawled out on the back porch, enjoying a slight breeze and drinking some passion fruit tea (cuz 90 degrees is too hot for a blanket and hot chocolate).  It was super nice of Carolyn to include that, and I hope her book does really well because, she seems like the kind of person that deserves it.

I debated giving this a 3 instead of a 4 so really its like a 3.5 and I rounded up (I promise it has nothing to do with the gift card and everything to do with the goods outweighing the bads.) Overall I really liked the story but there were a couple things that bugged me.

Lets start with the good:

I LOVE fairy tales!!

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And this book nailed it! It has all the components needed for a fairly tale; princes, princesses, villains, love, friendship, curses, jewelry, and fights. But Carolyn did not just retell the same old fairy tale, she created a brand new one!  She found a way to incorporate all the classics (with her own twist of course) while creating a completely unique tale.  I could not put the book down, I got hooked! I just had to find out what happened next! (I read waaay past my bedtime)

I love Aylan and Garrick, they felt so real.  Their relationship was super believable even in the midst of a fairy tale (however, like all fairy tales, they fall in love very quickly, though that is not a negative against the book).  All the other characters were great too.  Gala’s internal struggles made her particularly relatable.  The fight between doing the right thing and doing the thing you feel compelled to do is a very real issue that people deal with an a daily basis.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to everyone (children, young adults, adults, old adults, etc.) who needs an easy read with a feel-good story.

Now for the bad

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The beginning was slow and confusing.  I had to re-read a couple sections to figure out what was going on.  If you are going to read this book PLEASE stick with it past the beginning!  Its worth it, I promise.

And the ending left too many questions. Specifically: WHAT HAPPENED TO GALA?!?!?! Cliffhangers are fine, but this is not really a cliffhanger.  (I am trying really hard to not include any spoilers so I can’t express exactly what I am feeling. ) But the last time you see her its unclear what happened and then she is kind of forgotten for the rest of the book.  I would have also like some more details on the ship.  For starters, who was on the ship? Was her brother there? How did they react? You know Gunner is there, but it sort of glosses over everything, and I would have liked to know what went down, and WHAT HAPPENED TO GALA?!?!?!

If you are thinking about reading this book, don’t let these negatives deter you!!! The story is worth it! I really really enjoyed this book!  I can’t wait for the sequel.

P.S. I can’t figure out how to pronounce “Aylan” which really isn’t a big deal but I am still trying to recover from the whole “Hermione” debacle.