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BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.


Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest, with black hair as iridescent as a raven’s wing and cheekbones sharp enough to cut out a girl’s heart. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

This book gave me life…for the second time around.

And it’s crazy, really, that sometimes it takes reading a book at a different time in your life (less busy, in my case) for it to really become something to obsess over. I’ll admit that, while I adored Cardan and Jude the first time around, it was a 4 star for me. It was wonderful, really, but that obsessive spark I find myself tapping into often didn’t quite appear. So, when my friend read it and didn’t quite fall hard for it, I felt a fierce need to defend it. Not because it doesn’t have 1,000,000 reviews and reviewers singing it’s praises, because it does. And it certainly doesn’t need my little review to defend it. However, sometimes the fangirl reviews are just that-fangirl reviews. And I like to bring a little reality to the table.

I cannot seem to contort myself back into the shape of a dutiful child.
I am coming unraveled. I am coming undone.

I’ll admit I’ve fallen prey to this many times, writing reviews from the bottom of my little fangirl heart. But a lot of times, random people who stumble onto a book’s page think that all the praise means it’s a sure thing. And, frankly, it’s not. Just because I love and obsess over a book doesn’t mean it is without it’s flaws. For instance, what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander, ya know? So, even though I LOVE harsh, simplistic writing instead of a heavy poetic prose, that doesn’t mean that everyone feels that way. In fact, it might surprise people because they are expecting the best of the best….and, to many, it was, but to others they might wonder what the fuss was about because it was so understated and simple. But that’s why I am forever a fan of Holly black (I loved her White Cat series)-The subtle severity wrapped in beautiful, simplistic words.

I want to scream at him: Do you know how hard it is to always keep your head down? To swallow insults and endure outright threats? And yet I have done so. I thought it proved my toughness. I thought if you saw I could take whatever came at me and still smile, you would see that I was worthy.
You’re no killer.
He has no idea what I am.

For me, that was the beauty of this book. Mean, cruel, unrelenting fae and the humans who were swept away into a world where they have to adapt to be just as cunning and harsh as those that surround them, lest they be taken advantage of…or worse, die. The beauty was in the simplicity of the delivery of such nasty moments. It’s not as cruel if it’s not stretched into three descriptive, over the top sentences, right? Wrong. It’s almost worse-and that’s why I’m so so here for it.

Do not reveal your skill with a blade. Do not reveal your mastery over glamour. Do not reveal all that you can do.
Little did Prince Dain know that my real skill lies in pissing people off.

Jude was, I’m sorry, literally such a sly, devious bada**. She makes mistakes, clearly, but she meets Cardan’s worst moments head to head with nary a look of fear on her face…even though she’s shaking from the inside out. Now, that varies between anger and fear, I’ll admit-but keeping a calm, cool, and collected persona in the face of your nemesis is amazing, no matter the fluff on the inside.

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.

And sweet, tortured, menacing Cardan. I loved him even more the second time around. How? I don’t know. But he is bae now. He is everything…I lapped everything up he did-and I have to wonder if it’s because I knew about all his layers beforehand, so I was already a goner, then I got to re-lap him up and drool over him some more. All the while knowing all his deepest, darkest secrets and his true intentions or the menace behind his words. It makes a difference, for me, to be honest. To know someone’s true face behind a mask-thus, I fell for him harder.

“So I am to sit here and feed you information,” Cardan says, leaning against a hickory tree. “And you’re to go charm royalty? That seems entirely backward.”
I fix him with a look. “I can be charming. I charmed you, didn’t I?”
He rolls his eyes. “Do not expect others to share my depraved tastes.”

And that’s why I waited SO LONG (I read this the day it came out in January) to write this review-I bided my time so I could refresh myself and write a review that was worthy of such an epic novel, so it could be fresh in my mind and so I could give it fair review. And here is where I will capitalize on what I mentioned earlier-I LOVE to fangirl-but many times we love a book so much we don’t tell people the whole story. We don’t give a circumspect view on an otherwise addicting story, so those who aren’t just all about this or that know better than to even give this a try. Like, okay, I trust a review a LOT more if someone does sour AND sweet, as opposed to just sweet. I may love a book, but I can see the flaws, too. Like, for this book, I loved everything about it-though, I do wish there was more school where they were all mean to Jude. Yeah yeah, I’m masochistic, okay? But, this time around that didn’t bother me as much. I saw how the story unfolded and wanted to just bask in every moment. And while I love the nastiness…some might find all the characters a bit unredeemable.

Whatever essential thing the other Jude has, whatever part that’s unbroken in her and broken in me, that thing might be unrecoverable. Vivi is right; it cost me something to be the way I am. But I do not know what. And I don’t know if I can get it back. I don’t even know if I want it.
But maybe I could try.

While many of us LIVE for unredeemable characters (and honestly, they ARE redeemable, but it’s hard to see that haha), lots of people want kindness or more to root for on the GOOD side, not just the revenge side, like all of us relentless, bloodthirsty, vicious fans 😉. And, honestly, if you didn’t like fae before, you’ll likely not like them here-this story is a great example of the worst side of fae, and therefore won’t win you over…unless you like lots of, as mentioned above, vicious, unrelenting bloodshed to get what you want lol.

Faerie might be beautiful, but its beauty is like a golden stag’s carcass, crawling with maggots beneath his hide, ready to burst.

So see? I don’t mind a little horrificness with my cereal, but many do. So that was my warning. Where I see depth and amazing character arcs, many would be affronted. Not I, though. And, the writing. I’m sorry, but the GD writing. Good LORD I loved it. So simplistic yet so beautiful! I can’t even hardly stand it!

Of course, Taryn is right about stories. Bad things happen to those princesses. They are pricked with thorns, poisoned by apples, married to their own fathers. They have their hands cut off and their brothers turned into swans, their lovers chopped up and planted in basil pots. They vomit up diamonds. When they walk, it feels as though they’re walking on knives.

So I guess I’ll leave you here. It’s all about what you like/want/need in a novel. For me, a little peril, a forbidden romance, some cruelty and smexy I-hate-you-but-let’s-make-out is all I really need-BAHA! I mean, what more could I possibly ask for? Do I think this is overhyped? Partially-it’s not fair to say it’s wholly overhyped because it is a truly wonderful book and it deserves so much praise for such subtle severity wrapped up into such a sexy little book package. And people deserve to love it how they want. However, I’ve read 5 other books I loved just as much that are hardly talked about at all. Ten, even. But that’s just how it goes, right? Some stand out above the rest. My biggest advice, if you live under a rock, that is, and haven’t read this yet, is to go in with the mindset that it’s overhyped and not to expect too much…and frankly you’ll adore it. And, come on, not only do I have a MASSIVE crush on my cruel prince, but I have a girl crush on the human, Jude-the girl who (view spoiler). But, to be honest, I had a crush on her long before that. What can I say? I love a girl who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty *shrug*. I’ll jump in on that hype.

*********************

Re-reading bc why not?? I LOVED this (Cardan) in January and I literally am in the mood for nothing. Plus I still owe this masterpiece a review. Let the blood bath begin…

You haven’t seen the least I can do >.<

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW:  The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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 years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

I see why people call Holly Black ‘Queen of the Faeries’. Hoooly wow. What a delightfully dark, twisty novel.

If you know anything about me, I’m all about the court politics & intrigue, villains & anti-heroes, and schemes within plots within schemes. This book had my name written ALL over it.

Okay so here’s the basic rundown without giving away too much. Jude and Taryn are twins. Vivi is their older sister. It turns out, Vivi’s real father, Madoc, is fae. When the girls are young, he comes for Vivi, kills their parents, and sees Jude and Taryn as his responsibilities since their mother was his… ex. To put it lightly. He whisks them away to Faerie to be raised alongside his family. Having grown up with Madoc as the only father they knew, Taryn and Jude have come to love him like a father, while Vivi promises to always hate him for what he did.

Being the general’s daughters, Jude and her sisters are raised alongside the High King’s sons and daughters. Each sibling has their own group of friends, spies, etc.

Enter Cardan.

Cardan is the youngest prince, and on the surface, the cruelest. Anyone who gets in his way, annoys him, or disrespect him, ends up paying dearly. Jude hates him with a passion, to say the least. He has that whole ‘school bully’ syndrome and is impossibly arrogant (all the makings of a delicious prince, amirite?)

Jude just wants to belong. Unlike her sister, she loves the land of Faerie. She wants to belong. Her dream is to become a knight. She wants a position of power that will earn her freedom and respect. But after being bullied and harassed by Cardan and his lackeys, Jude is fed up.

“My good intentions evaporate on the wind. My blood is on fire, boiling in my veins. I do not have much power, but here is what I have – I can force his hand. Cardan might want to hurt me, but I can make him want to hurt me worse.”

So we have a bit of a prank war, but a life-threatening one. Jude stops trying to control her temper, and she starts fighting back. She gets in a few good swings at Cardan, which royally pisses him off in the most delightful way. It catches the attention of the rest of the royal family, including Prince Dain. He meets Jude in secret and offers her a position of power if she spies for him. Dain is the chosen son, the one that will inherit the crown via his father’s favor.

So Jude accepts his offer and becomes part of his ‘Court of Shadows’.

Political games insue. Jude gets in over her head. (Or does she?)

I don’t want to say more than that, but that’s the general idea of the opening. Only, it becomes so much more. Jude discovers secrets within secrets about the court, and with the coronation coming up, things get especially intense. Not to mention, her twin sister says she has a secret lover but she refuses to reveal his identity.

When shit hits the fan, oh man, it gets SO good. The ending was phenomenal, and the sequel is set up to be AMAZING and I dont know how I’m going to wait… *screams into the void*

That. Epilogue.

Help.

Bah, ok. Anyway… Jude is a fantastic main character. She’s cunning, witty, and so supremely dark. Perhaps darker than Cardan himself at times. She’s complex (so is everyone else) and relatable and easily has one of the strongest voices I’ve come across in a YA novel. I loved how complicated things get with her sisters and Madoc’s family, and how buried some of the secrets are. Oh man. What a cool (and awful) family dynamic. I also looooved how vivid the royal family is. Of course, Cardan is my favorite, because I am utterly helpless when it comes to characters like him. Is there ever something between him and Jude, you ask? I admit nothing, but if you could pass me your fan…

Ugh, and the world. Holly Black’s writing is lush in every way imaginable, and she excels in bringing such a fantastical world to life. None of it felt made up. She doesn’t shy away from anything dark, either. This isn’t a pretty fairie land, folks. Here be monsters.

BOOK REVIEW: Black Heart (Curse Workers #3) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: Black Heart (Curse Workers #3) by Holly BlackBlack Heart (Curse Workers #3)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a world where Magic is illegal.

Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?

For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.

The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?

Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.

Girls like her, my grandfather once warned me, girls like her turn into women with eyes like bullet holes and mouths made of knives. They are always restless. They are always hungry. They are bad news. They will drink you down like a shot of whisky. Falling in love with them is like falling down a flight of stairs.What no one told me, with all those warnings, is that even after you’ve fallen, even after you know how painful it is, you’d still get in line to do it again.

Awwwwwwww!! I cannot believe how perfectly perfect that ended. I really wanted to write this super long review and make it an absolutely amazing ending to my reading spree of this series but…I dunno. It kind of feels right to just put down a few quotes and call it a day. After all, I don’t want to beat a dead horse, right?

A few closing thoughts:

Cassel is unbelievably, undeniably, without even the slightest doubt the cutest conman ever. Loyal, in love, terrified to make the wrong decision….and utterly hopeless. I would follow his story anywhere-he’s adorable.

“I thought you wanted us to be good guys.” He grins a too-wide grin. He’s enjoying needling me, and my reacting only makes it worse, but I can’t stop.
“Not if it means hurting her,” I say, my voice as deadly as I can make it. “Never her.”

The perilistically (my new word, you like?) pleasing ending. WOW. I did NOT expect that. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, I was paralyzed because of how scared I was for Cassel. I couldn’t see any possible positive outcomes for my favorite little liar at the end of this one.

If I have to die tomorrow when the Feds come for me, then this is the last request of my heart. This. The sight of her lashes brushing her cheek as her eyes flutter closed. The pulse in her throat. Her breath in my mouth. This.

Cassel…oooohhh errrr awkward….But wait! His heroic actions were amazing and they made me fall in love with him even more. I’m utterly obsessed with him, the unreliable little shit.

I think of not knowing what compelled me to strike a gun out of the hand of a killer. Of how satisfying it was to hit Kevin. Of how I want to do it again and again, want to feel the bones snap and blood smear. Of how it felt to stand over him, my skin on fire with rage.

The Romance. Ahhhh not much to say, but can I just express my undying shipping of Lila and Cassel?? ‘Cuz I caaan’t stooooop, I wooon’t stooooop… Hmmmm….anyway….

I love love LOVED this installment and I am so sad it’s all over. It’s beyond depressing that I will never read about Cassel and his fucked up life again. I put my Ipad down last night and felt a pang of sadness after I finished this story because I was smiling so big and so overwhelmed with happiness and it was just over. But it ended where it should have and all is right in the world. I won’t mess with that. I am so glad I picked up this random series, because it was amazing and so unlike anything I’d ever read. I will never forget it and I hope you give it a chance, too. 🙂

Now I know why people are afraid of transformation workers. Now I know why they want to control me. Now I get it.
I can walk into someone’s house, kiss their wife, sit down at their table, and eat their dinner. I can lift a passport at an airport, and in twenty minutes it will seem like it’s mine. I can be a blackbird staring in the window. I can be a cat creeping along a ledge. I can go anywhere I want and do the worst things I can imagine, with nothing to ever connect me to those crimes. Today I might look like me, but tomorrow I could look like you. I could be you.

BOOK REVIEW: Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly BlackRed Glove (Curse Workers #2)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The cons get craftier and the stakes rise ever higher in the riveting sequel toWhite Cat.

After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life.

That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family that’s tied to one of the big crime families—and whose mother’s cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is coming to terms with what it means to be a worker, and he’s figuring out how to have friends.

Except normal doesn’t last very long. Soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past—a past he remembers only in scattered fragments, and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on, because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive….

The smell of Lila’s skin, the way her eyes shine with mischief, the low rasp of her voice. It hurts to think of her, but I can’t stop. It ought to hurt.
After all, hell is supposed to be hot.

Hmmm. Well, I just have to say it-If you, for whatever reason, have to put a book on pause and you come back to it and feel like you are still strongly a part of that book’s world…then you have an excellent book in your hands, folks. I have had a busy few weeks, book wise. Blog tours, catching up on a favorite series for said blog tours, keeping up with ARCs…and now here I am with a little bit of ‘me’ time on my hands. So why not pick up where I left off in this wonderful little story?? It was so much easier than I ever expected and I didn’t once feel like I didn’t know what was going on. It’s such a fun, wonderful, dark story with loads of heart seeped onto every page-you can’t help but to fall in love with Cassel and all his shenanigans.

I jump up and take off toward her, yanking the panty hose down over my face. That slows me down some, because there is no way in hell these things are sheer. I can barely see.
People start yelling. Yeah, because a guy with hose over his head is never the good guy. He is, in fact, the stereotype-maybe even a archetype-of a bad guy.

I can’t say this was better than the first, yet I rated it a solid 5. Why is that??? I think it’s because my enjoyment level skyrocketed after my hiatus from the series. As soon as I began to read from where I’d left off, my mood was instantly uplifted and I felt a sense of peace and contentment. I started to laugh and smile like a deranged loon. Reading about Cassel never gets old and certainly never gets boring. He’s a sweethearted con who only wants to do good…but always ends up doing bad. But he’s getting better! Or, at least, he’s trying to.

I wonder if that’s my future. Bad choices. It certainly feels a lot like my present.

And that’s where we are in this book. Something terrible has happened in the first book. (view spoiler) Which means that no matter how tangible, how wonderful, how real it seems…it isn’t. It’s a con. And there lays the dilemma: How can Cassel possibly fight the one good thing he’s wanted his whole life?? It’s right there on a silver platter….All he has to do is reach out and take it. But he can’t. He won’t. And that’s why he is, ultimately, good. It wouldn’t be right and it wouldn’t be fair, but it’s sure hard to fight.

I should stop, but there’s no point in stopping. Because I’m not strong enough-eventually, I won’t stop.
I thought the question was “Will I or won’t I?”
But that’s not the question at all.
It’s “When?”
Because I will.
It’s just a matter of time. It’s now.

That’s why this book is so so heartbreaking. I love Cassel. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s sarcastic, and he just wants to be accepted for who he is. And I love him for it. He has lived a fucked up life surrounded by fucked up people, yet he tries to stay above it. And, more than that, he would do anything for them. He’d cover up any number of their crimes just because he loves them. Yet, they still try to hold him under their thumb even though he’s 50 times more powerful than they’ll ever be. It tore me to pieces each and every time he would resist (view spoiler) because how could that ever really be true?? How could (view spoiler) It broke my heart.

At the window to my room, I catch my reflection in the glass. Shaggy black hair. Sneer. I look like a hungry ghost, glowering at the world I am no longer fit to be part of.

The relationships formed in this book were probably my favorite part-it was so heartwarming to see Cassel embrace his new friendships he began to form at the end of the last book and to begin to trust them enough to accept their help. But, then the writing is a close second favorite thing about this story. Black’s writing leaps off the page and sucks you in so you don’t ever want to stop reading. Simplistic, witty, and sarcastic tones seep off of every page and you can’t help but to smile at how dire the situations are that Cassel gets himself into. I don’t know how he does it, but somehow he is always in trouble and it is always funny, for some reason. I don’t quite know why I find such humor in this dark little series, but I do and I love it.

I sink down to the grass. It’s damp with dew. I feel sick, but self-loathing has become a familiar sickness. I was a monster before. A monster with the excuse that he didn’t know details so he didn’t really have to think about it.

So….There’s much more I can say but it would be very spoilery to do so. Do you know how hard it is to write a review for such a mysterious series without spoiling anything? Well, I’ll tell ya-it’s hard. So I will stop here and let you make your own judgements. Cassel is a wonderful character to follow: flawed, insecure, but somehow cocky, we have quite the enigmatic character. I only hope you can give this wonderfully weird series a chance-it’s excellent.


Only a monster would do this, but I already know I’m a monster.

BOOK REVIEW – White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW – White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly BlackWhite Cat (Curse Workers #1)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn't fit in at home or at school, so he's used to feeling like an outsider. He's also used to feeling guilty; he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas and a plan to con the conmen.

“I hate that I love this. I hate that the adrenaline pumping through the roots of my body is filling me with giddy glee. I’m not a good person.”

This book was full of charmsSee what I did there?

Charm ⁂1 : I do love me some liar

Beware of Cassel Sharpe, professional liar and Master of the game of make-believe. You’re going to love him.

“Being a con artist means thinking that you’re smarter than everyone else and that you’ve thought of everything. That you can get away with anything. That you can con anyone.
I wish I could say that I don’t think about the con when I deal with people, but the difference between me and my mother is that I don’t con myself.”

Charming, deceptive, untrustworthy, sarcastic, selfish : Of course I loved Cassel, what do you think? Since he was fourteen and well, hmm, killed his best friend and first love, Cassel learnt that to survive he has to become a Master of pretending. All the time.

Friendship? Nothing more than an exchange of goods. Who’d want a killer of a friend? Yeah? No hands raised? That’s what I thought.

Love? Yeah, sure. A good way to fake normality.

Family? You mean the curse workers who always kept him in the dark and fed him with snippets of affection? Them?

“I’m not good at having friends. I mean, I can make myself useful to people. I can fit in. I get invited to parties and I can sit at any table I want in the cafeteria.
But actually trusting someone when they have nothing to gain from me just doesn’t make sense.
All friendships are negotiations of power.”

Don’t get fooled, despite the fact that he basically tries to con everyone, we can’t avoid seeing the extreme vulnerability that all his tricks can’t hide, and then… Then we ‘re dealing with a charming and hopeless male-lead we can’t help but care about.

Charm ⁂2 : Of course I’m lost! And I love it.

What a multi-layered mystery! Each time I thought I finally got it the truth slipped through my fingers. There are many subplots in this story and that’s for the best : we never know who Cassel can trust, damn, we don’t even know if we can trust Cassel most of the time! Everything can be a con and this makes every decision or action suspect – try to overtake Cassel’s shenanigans and you’ll see.

“Marks think they can get something for nothing.
Marks think they can get what they don’t deserve and could never deserve.
Marks are stupid and pathetic and sad.
…..
Marks forget that whenever something’s too good to be true, that’s because it’s a con.”

As for the writing, I have to point that I was pleasantly surprised by Holly Black. Indeed it’s my first book from this author and I must admit that I was really wary at first. What a fool I’ve been! It was a captivating page-turner that never bored me.

Charm ⁂3 : Why can’t I be a curse worker, huh? Why?

Never ever forget your gloves, otherwise you are likely to experience one of these delightful experiences :
✔ To find yourself somewhere without any idea how you came
✔ Be changed in a cockroach. Yeah, that sucks.
✔ To start sobbing in remorse for something you didn’t even do.
✔♪♫♬ Beware of the music you hear. ♪♫♬ Just sayin’

Charm ⁂4 : Applaud the cat. Just do it. He’s got claws.

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