Author: Stephanie Garber (Page 1 of 2)

BOOK REVIEW: Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie GarberOnce Upon A Broken Heart (Once Upon A Broken Heart #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval, the first book in a new series about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after.

Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.

But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

“I don’t think you and I have the same definition of hurt.” 
“Be thankful for that, Little Fox.” Jacks gave her a smile that was all sharp edges. A drop of blood fell from the corner of his mouth, and something godforsaken washed over his expression. “Hurt is what made me.”

Damn this book. Damn this stupid book that I didn’t even care about. Was it the heroine? Was it the storyline? Was it the way the words flowed so beautifully upon opening up the story? Could it have been the absolutely gorgeous cover? Or was it simply that I felt at home, at peace, just happy when I read it? Or, the scariest question of all-Was it Jacks?

He looked like a bad decision some unfortunate person was about to make.


And that’s the whole point-I truly cannot say why I liked loved this book so much. I was so blase about OUABH’s impending release, so meh, so whatever that I didn’t even know it was released until all the editions began pouring onto my doorstep. And isn’t that the kicker? I knew. Deep down my soul knew that I’d love this story. So, book hoarder that I am, I possess them all, naturally, before even having read the story and even believing I wouldn’t care one way or another for it. But, again, why? I still can’t even tell you.

“Heroes don’t get happy endings. They give them to other people.”

This book, to me, felt so different than the Caraval stories. It’s the same world, really honestly the same characters-so why was it so different? I think the thing is, it really wasn’t. Perhaps Garber has grown as a writer, maybe she simply wrote from a deeper perspective. I don’t quite understand how a writer can have all the same mannerisms, yet churn out a book that felt so wholly me when the others kind of failed to do so.

“She hates me,” Jacks said pleasantly. “So even if she likes you more, that’s not saying very much.”
“Are you certain about that?”

I loved Tella. I loved Scarlett. I adored Julian and Legend…And the stories were absolutely spellbinding, always wrapped in a haze of fairytale type enchantment. It was no joke when people said this felt somewhat like a fairytale-and I keep telling myself that was why I loved it so much. But if this was, in fact, a fairytale, it was certainly a demented version of one. And…there it is. I truly think that’s it: This was no fairytale . There was no happily ever after. It was my favorite kind of story, ripe with a sea of possibilities: Happily Never After.

She knew her story had the potential for infinite endings—and that belief hadn’t changed. There was a happy ending waiting for her.

Yeah, Evangeline will find it, sure. But the journey she took, the desperate attempts at creating love at first sight, at believing her one true love was within grasp at all times, the way she was so willing to love and trust and forgive and risk it all for both her kindness of heart and the idea of hope. Hope that someone else would do the same for her, hope that her one true love would be her knight in shining armor, hope that good would win over evil, always…I love that she didn’t just get that. I love that her journey is so rocky, deceptive, and convoluted. But, most of all, I loved the unpredictability-because there was literally not one moment (save, bad guys) that I could have predicted.

She just wanted someone to want her the way Jacks had wanted this girl. And she didn’t want it to be because of a spell or a curse. Evangeline wanted a real love powerful enough to break a spell.

Well…maybe I could have, but I’m not sure how. And, to be honest, part of that unpredictability comes from the hero (?What even is Jacks?) himself. I have never been anything but transparent when it comes to Jacks in the Caraval series: I truly do not remember a thing about him, but I remember enough I just didn’t care or get why anyone would root against Legend for Tella’s heart.

According to the myths, the Prince of Hearts was not capable of love because his heart had stopped beating long ago. Only one person could make it work again: his one true love. They said his kiss was fatal to all but her—his only weakness—and as he’d sought her, he’d left a trail of corpses.

Yeah, okay, bad boy with bad intentions and even badder actions who deserves good and sweet and adventurous girl-I get it, but come on. She loved Legend, end of story. BUT, that being said, this world? It was made for Jacks. And, truthfully, I loved Evangeline FOR Jacks. Remember that quote the Mockingjay, the one about her [Katniss] being fire and Gale being fire, as well, and Peeta was the dandelion in the wind? That’s Tella and Jacks-they just didn’t go. This book, while not wholly about Jacks himself, helped him to shine a little (duh, obviously). And, again, yeah I know-He is a main character therefore he doesn’t have anything else going on to really contend with, but this is also what I loved about Garber’s storytelling here….this book really didn’t throw Jacks all up in our face. Like…at all.

He was terrible. There was no other word to describe him—except maybe heartless or depraved or rotten. The way Jacks seemed to enjoy pain was absolutely staggering. The apple in his hand probably possessed more sympathy than he did. This was not the same young man who’d practically bled heartbreak all over the knave of his church. Something inside of him was broken.

Romances that aren’t really romances are my favorite kind-the tension, the unknowing protectiveness, mean pet names turning to something sweeter and kinder (Side note: This book is home to probably my favorite intimate little pet name I’ve heard in a while. I don’t know why, but Little Fox just really is my favorite thing ever. Every time I saw it, my heart just went berserk. Crazy. And, let’s be honest, if we’d have been stuck with him calling her ‘Pet’ the whole book, I might have raged. That, in tandem, is probably my least favorite pet name (and Woman. Who the eff wants to be called ‘Woman?’). No thanks. Hard pass), the jealousy. It all adds up to a million non-kisses and unplanned heroic acts and I am all here for it-and so was Garber because her book is riddled with so many tantalizingly sinful moments without even closely bordering smutty-barely restrained bites, caresses, touches, and-ahem-okay, I won’t say the last but *insert red face sweating emoji*.

“Do you stare at everyone like that, or just me?” Jacks looked up.

Evangeline reached out to Jacks in a moment of desperation, so they started out as tentative allies, turned untrusting partners, turned actual allies, to somewhat friends. The addition of Jacks only being able to kiss his one true love without it resulting in death? Umm…yes please. Bring the tension. I THRIVE on sexual tension. Bring on ALLL the tension. Who needs kisses when you can have…other things.

“I’m curious about a lot of things. I’m curious about you, but I don’t want you to bite me!”
The corner of Jacks’s mouth twitched. “I’ve already done that, Little Fox.”

Evangeline’s naive view of life and quest for her one true love, her selflessness and willingness to help those around her that she cares about is perfect for Jacks’s hard-nosed Fury self who is cynical, heart-broken, and cold as stone-she is the yin to his yang, she will slowly break down his long-built up barriers and crumble his resolve as he saves her time and again, as he continues to play games and use her in his quest for something Fate-ish and top secret and realizes she really does mean something to him. We saw so many wonderful moments where we got tiny fractures in his exterior, moments where we saw flares of vulnerability…and only more will come. I lived for these far and few between moments, losing sleep long into the night daydreaming and aching for more, all the while knowing that I was getting exactly what I love most, romance wise, yet still pining for so much more and knowing it will be a year before we get any gratification.

“I didn’t think you cared.”
“I don’t. But you still owe me one more kiss, and until I collect it, you’re mine, and I do not like to share.”

Some books have crazy endings, amazing epic awesome cliffhangers….and some have subtle ends, subtle chaos, but cliffhangers all the same. And, I’ll be honest, the books with subtle cliffhangers, such as this one? They are far more likely, in my opinion, to have an epic final book. An author can write a crazy end, and I get SO excited as they are my favorite thing ever, but I’m always willing to wait because I’m so nervous that the next book won’t be worth the wait, that it won’t hold up to those monumental final moments. But with endings like these, I can’t help but feel helpless, as if I’m drowning, because it’s as if I can’t breathe knowing I have to wait until literally next year to see what type of story Jacks and Evangeline are going to get. How (notice I did not say if) he will eventually crumble and break and (omg I HOPE) profess his love for her (Fates tend to get kind of obsessed, don’t they??), how he will protect her at any cost…I just, I can’t wait. I seriously cannot wait. It makes me ill to think how far away it is-but that’s my fault, isn’t it? Giving into the urge so quickly? So easily? Well, shame on me.

Hope is a difficult thing to kill, just a spark of it can start a fire.

Basically this review is a horrible non-review with very little in way of what I would normally write, but I had no direction because I have no clue what worked and why it hit me differently than the Caraval series did. I absolutely ADORED Caraval-I did-but there was just something so wholly satisfying about a non romance littered with a girl who dreamed of a fairy tale romance that I couldn’t help but to be dazzled. Easy romances are boring, period, and this was and will be anything but. The promise of something so much greater, grander, magnificent than just a normal romance might be what excites me most-the idea that Garber could literally take this story anywhere. But, perhaps the most promising of all, is the notion that Jacks will slowly lose his mind, will become jealous of any other person who seeks Evangeline. The idea that he will do anything to protect her, even though he says he wouldn’t and doesn’t care, that she is and will be a more guarded, less doe-eyed girl who only wants her happily ever after-its going to be a cacophony of chaos and heartbreak and destruction (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET THERE BE CHAOS AND HEARTBREAK)…it sounds like a pretty dark book to me. Now, if only I didn’t have to wait.

****

Guys…this one just got me good. I don’t even know why…it just resonated deep within me, and I’ll be honest when I say I never really cared for Jacks. Now, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. I picked this up expecting to simply tolerate it, and instead walked away enthralled, obsessed, and more than upset I didn’t get more from Jacks and Evangeline. No clue what to read next, but I’ve always been a sucker for fairytale type stories and this somewhat quenched that thirst-Nothing will really touch my mood now.

So, if it’s not obvious, I literally cannot wait to write this review.

BOOK REVIEW: Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart) by Stephanie GarberOnce Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart #1)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings...until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….

Review

Evangeline had to look down at the damp cobbles to make sure her feet were still on the ground and that she hadn’t taken flight, for parts of her were soaring. Stepping into the North didn’t just feel like the start of something, it felt like the start of everything.

The ONLY thing I regret about my currently and seemingly never-fading obsession with Dramione fanfiction is that I have been putting off reading so many great YA titles that have released in the last few months. I feel like I was trying to talk myself into reading this (and Chelsea demanding that I read this) for WEEKSSSSSS. Which is such a crime. SUCH A CRIME. While it did take me a little bit to actually get my brain into the right mindset (solely just remembering what kind of a world all of this is set in AND getting acclimated to the Magnificent North) once I was able to focus I devoured the rest of this book. I just love that every single one of Garber’s books to date have such a deliciously whimsical feel to them while also showing us different pockets of darkness here and there. It’s almost like she hands each reader a pair of rose-tinted glasses to read with only for a lens to crack part-way through and have to be taken off. BOOM. The Fates are back and people are dying or being hunted and prophecies are unearthed and deals are being made.

As much as I love reading about the world of Caraval and now the North, I’m not sure I would survive there, lol. I’m way too trusting and in real life take way too much at face value. Evangeline though…I think she’ll do just fine. She befriended a Fate or two and was really on her way to taking control of her destiny towards the end of this book. It took me a little bit to figure out if I actually was going to like her at first but…she really isn’t all that helpless. No, she’s just a normal girl who would do anything for those she loves and that is truly special. I will say I spent the entire book mistrusting Marisol and still am not convinced she’s entirely an innocent. Jacks….oh where do I even begin? I think that it’s pretty important to, at the very least, re-read all of the scenes he’s in from Legendary and Finale. I had ENTIRELY forgotten all of the glimpses we were given of him in those books and they truly make a difference. I forgot how much he DID feel for Tella and how that obviously would have MAJORLY impacted him from the first time he met Evangeline to the next. Poor boy. Lot of little moment that add up between them in this one. I have some theories and hope for book two and I can’t wait to see what does and doesn’t come true!

BOOK REVIEW: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie GarberFinale (Caraval #3)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

And here we are-the end. There’s just something so magical about this series that goes beyond the actual, well, magic. The words transport you. The world makes you so thirsty for more. The boys are just so addicting and drag you in, even if you don’t want to…and the relationships make you stay.

I wish I could say that I wasn’t as big a fool for this series as everyone else…but I am. I am so trash for it and I just can’t seem to stop searching and fighting and clawing my way to all the editions of it I can muster up. I can admit it’s gotten a bit out of hand, but it’s been so fun I can’t say I even care. My husband, however…he may disagree. The whimsical feeling and the high stakes fun make this book and series something that I don’t often find anymore. And I can’t say that it’s all perfect-which is why I’m JUST NOW on the Caraval special UK edition bandwagon-but there’s just something so dazzling that finally stuck it’s claws into me-Too bad it took me years to figure out how much I loved it. Cue eyeroll.

I literally cannot say much about this story because I feel like everyone will know what happens if I do. We all know there will be romantic angst. We all know Julian and Scarlett have some things to work out (and, I’m sorry, but their story, arc, and ending were far more satisfying than any other in this book, for me). We all know Tella and-ahem-are working through major ‘I can’t be your hero’ vibes (ohh but I do so love it *heart eyes*). But aside from that, I’d be doing a disservice to all if I gave too much away. So, I’ll do my BEST to capture what made this final book like crack to me.

The romantic peril was just…out of this world fantastic. I was drooling from the declarations and pleas and cries and…OKAY I’VE SAID TOO MUCH BUT DAMN IT CAN YOU BLAME ME? Okay. Rerouting. I digress. Back to business-It was spectacular. But it really shined with one couple-And I will reread my favorite moments with this element so many times my iPad will start to smoke.

And the story. I really enjoyed where it went, in this one. Kind of. Welll…Yeah. I did and didn’t. That is one of my two biggest pet peeves. I will spoiler both. But, in general, for most of this book, I was a goner for every little thing. But, the end. The villain-This is BY FAR one of my least favorite ‘fights’ against a villain. Like…is that really how we wanted this epic story, this evil dude, to end? To Die? It basically ends with a realization, a lecture, and a quick stab…and it’s FLIPPING OVER! ‘You’ve been a badddd boy! Now DIE!’ I just…my heart. I will say, though, I calmed down enough to re-read the whole ending because I was sooo tired when I read it the first time and it DID make a difference. I still think…what I think…but it wasn’t so bad that I need to de-star it.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the men in this story (Tella is awesome, Scarlett is awesome, but the boys keep me coming back for more). Julian truly stepped up his game in this one. His heart was literally on his sleeve and I think that if anyone had a problem or was bored by him before (who even ARE you people?) you won’t be now. He shines. And my heart could hardly contain his love. And the other boy, Dante…What a flippin’ turd. And, also, why do I love him so much? He’s mysterious and sacrificial and even though he can be evasive, elusive, and altogether a flighty turd, he is utterly in awe and has utter devotion to Tella, and my heartstrings sing and flutter when he is around. Part 2 spoiler-His story disappointed me. He deserved as epic of a story as Julian. Julian was sacrificial on all fronts. He had a dramatic storyline. His love story ended with a bang. Yes, we get a confession of love by Legend, in the end-and it’s glorious-but his romantic peril was more at the beginning, and wonderful, yet at the end he was just in a sad little cage and it made my heart hurt he didn’t get to be a part of that scene in a monumental way. After everything, the fact that Dante and Tella’s story was way more dramatic, way more perilistic, way more, I don’t know, twisty turny, we get left high and dry, in the end. And I just thought they deserved more, because I think they are technically the more favorited couple.. And the jealousy-OMG. I must say….I do love some jealousy. And the cute way it’s handled-by both-it makes my heart soar.

So, yeah, it’s not perfect, but it was close to perfect for me. These characters are like my family now, and I truly never want to leave this world. Not many series make me wish for more (if ANY), but this is one of them that I could read about for years. Stephanie Garber has created an alternate universe that has enchanted the world, readers around the nation, and made us apart of the whimsical and dangerous world of Caraval. I only wish I could go see her on tour, but that’s okay- I have a great friend who has my back and is taking my books to be signed. I am a Caraval gal now, and I am just so sad this is the last book where I get to see these four wonderful characters. I will continue to read them again and again, and there’s something magical about that in and of itself.

BOOK REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie GarberLegendary (Caraval #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever...

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.


“Not everyone gets a true ending. There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.”

Some books are instant reads. Some books take a while to sink in. Some books you know you need to wait until you’re in the right mood. And some books-some books will be good no matter when you start them. That is this book.

“Scar, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I swear there is nothing going on between Dante and me. You know how I feel about boys who are prettier than me.”

But, in this case, it was also that other book that I wasn’t in the mood to read until recently. And do you see what the result was? Do you understand how it wickedly dipped it’s claws into my heart, gouging me from within, causing rivulets of blood to seep into my soul? We all know Garber loves her blood, though, am I right?

For it was also said the Prince of Hearts was not capable of love because his heart had stopped beating long ago. Only one person could make it beat again: his one true love. They said his kiss had been fatal to all but her—his only weakness—and as he’d sought her, he’d left a trail of corpses.

I needed this book when I was at my lowest of lows, when no other book was doing it for me, when I didn’t even know it was the cure. I’ll admit that, while everyone probably knows I’m an emotional mood reader, this book took a little longer for my interest to pique. Was it because I had gotten the Caraval ARC so long ago that the new release seemed underwhelming because of time? Was it because my daughter was born only two months before and I just was too exhausted to pick it up, then lost track of time and forgot all about it and eventually decided ‘eh, I’ll pick it up when I pick it up since it’s not shiny and new anymore?’ Was it really a time thing? Or was it something deeper? Did I know my heart would yearn for the more complex, yet so wonderfully simple, things in life the older and (dare I say) more mature (sophisticated?) I got? No matter the reason, I wasn’t ready for this book, and if I had read it sooner I’d have ruined it. That’s what I do know.

So enter Tella.


I’m not the type of person that likes when main characters change, so I was having a somewhat hard time reconciling the fact that I was no longer going to be following Scarlett and Julian as closely. But once this book got past the first couple chapters-I was hooked. The love interest, to me, didn’t seem like he was going to bring anything new to the table, and perhaps he didn’t, but all of sudden, when we got to that ball, early on, I was done. In fact, that scene was pivotal in so many ways it shaped the tone for the rest of the story.

Scarlett was Tella’s person—the one someone in the world whom Tella could always count on. Tella might not have believed in falling in love, but she had literally bet her life that Scarlett loved her. Tella would destroy the world before she allowed anything to happen to her sister.

Tella is headstrong. Tella loves adventure and men and living life to the fullest-and she loves her sister so dearly she trusted that she’d come through for her during Caraval. But Tella doesn’t believe in love. She doesn’t believe in giving herself over to someone so fully they can hurt you. Unless it’s her sister, or, in this case, her mother, expending that love to anyone else is a risk-and she’s not willing to take it. But Dante is dark and alluring and he always seems to come through for her. And I’m so trash for it-I really am.

Tella had exchanged things with other young men, but never hearts, and though she still had no plans to relinquish that part of her to Dante, she was beginning to understand how hearts could be slowly given away, without a person even realizing. How sometimes just a look, or a rare moment of vulnerability like the one Dante had just shared with her, was enough to steal a fraction of a heart.

And that’s the thing with this series-I feel like I can’t say much about anything, yet the art and the fangirling and the obvious love for it is everywhere, so how do people not know things? I’ll stay true to myself and not spoil anything…but man do I want to. Scarlett is on her own secret missions, Julian knows something he’s not telling anyone, Tella meets a mysterious new guy, Jacks, who is more than meets the eye, and the stakes of Tella winning the game are so high-they might just cost her her life. This book is so out of this world imaginative without being crazy (I lie-it’s so crazy), I can’t help but to fall deeper and deeper in love with it the more I think about it.



The seamstress shook her head, again muttering something about Tella having no idea what sort of game she was playing.
But Tella knew exactly what type of game she was a part of: one that would destroy her and the people she cared about if she didn’t win.

There’s just something so deep and moving, to me, when a male character plays like he can’t be the hero for the heroine and, in this case, truly means it and exercises it. But they are always always first in line to save the damsel in distress, to do sacrificial things that don’t seem like a big deal to them but are actually the world to the heroine and, actually, extremely deadly, and who would stop time, move the world, and alter the stars to make sure the girl doesn’t die and…these heroes speak to my heart, make my soul soar, and make a giddy fangirl out of me. And, even better? I love when the hero and heroine have a witty repartee going. And I love love love when the girl has another guy nipping at her heels, making the hero have to show a little grit of the teeth, a little tensing of that square jaw, and a flash of jealousy in those heavenly eyes. Again-trash for it.

DROWN IN IIIIT

And Julian like…I can’t help but be obsessed with him as well, too. His story is so amazing, to me, the way he would do anything for the girl he loves, even though he has serious commitments elsewhere-in this book we see Scar and Julian’s relationship tested, and Julian falters a lot…but I think we’re in for an epic end to that love story and I’m so here for it-I always loved these two, and I loved that we got to see it here. And that’s the thing-I never care for other couples when it comes time to move on, but we can’t truly move on from these sisters. They have two sexy as hell brothers, and I need both of their HEAs in my life, OKAY?!

“If you’re here to learn about Legend,” he said, “I can tell you more than anyone inside there.”
“Would you tell me who he is?” Tella asked.
“You know I can’t do that.”
“You could if you were Legend.”
Dante’s voice rumbled with a laugh. “If I was Legend I’d definitely never tell you.”
“Because you don’t trust me?”
“No,” he answered slowly, gently tugging her even closer. “I’d hold on to my secret because I’d want to keep playing the game with you, and if I told you the truth it would spoil all the fun.”

And the peril. Like…no it’s not crazy but there are so. Many. Scenes. That take my breath away, that made me gasp and smile simultaneously (because I’m a sick individual, we know this), and one scene even resulted in epic proportions unmeasured in recent history. Well, okay, I’ve had some good peril moments lately (and I bet in book 3 we’ll get mooooreeee), but there are two scenes that make my life complete. I love them. I need them. I want more of them. I shall return for them and re read them over and over and over again-I do so love a good hero saving ‘not his girl but he sure loves this girl’ scenes. I don’t think there are enough well written scenes that test the hero’s willingness to die for the girl…we need more of this, yes? Yes. Always. Infinitely. Never enough.

Tella claimed she didn’t want love—she liked to say love trapped and controlled and ripped hearts apart. But the truth was she also knew love healed and held people together, and deep down she wanted it more than anything. She enjoyed the kisses, but a part of her always wished that whenever she walked away from a boy he’d run after her, beg her to stay, and then promise he’d never leave.

And, because of said romantically perilistic scenes that had me so happy I could have peed my pants, I immediately took to the Twitter verse I’m so horrible at to find special editions of each (I am in such huge trouble here. SUCH HUGE TROUBLE). And. Every. Caraval and Legendary and Finale edition. That’s right-I’ve spent way too much, and gotten way too much merch. And I STILL haven’t found it all-but I’m SO CLOSE I CAN TASTE IT. My Finale luck has been immense, But that’s due to my awesome foresight (and UK Bestie, the unshakeable Pea) and ability to realize I need that bright red cover in my life, and all it’s brothers and sisters right next to it-all shapes and sizes and colors and ethnicities-we’re all equal here, okay? One love and all that jazz? I don’t discriminate-paperbacks, hardbacks, colored pages, signed pages, UK editions, different colored editions, book box editions…I want them all, I need them all. But, alas, I’ve failed on at least two-I’m hoping my luck changes! EEPS!

…there was more to life than staying safe.

So, here we are. I’m just a girl, loving a book, falling harder for a series many are obsessed with, spending more money than I have on merch and pining away for the final book. But maybe that’s the thing-my body wouldn’t let me read the second book so quickly because it knew I’d need the last book as soon as possible. But honestly, really, do you think this was an accident? Fooled you all. I had it planned the whole time, you sillies.

Now who’s the genius.

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

Why. Why did I wait so long to read this book? Where has this book been all my life?

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of my slump flying far, far away.

RTC

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BOOK REVIEW – Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW – Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie GarberLegendary (Caraval #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.

“What have I always told you about the future?”
“Every person has the power to write her own.”
 Tella said.

Please God. Let there be a third book. There has to be a third book. Right? RIGHT?! THIS WAS SO GOOD. I spent a good four hours this morning finishing this book, completely ignoring everything else around me an I can’t say that I regret it. I mean seriously, the only part of this book that I didn’t like was when it ended…

Dante looked up and gave her a fallen star’s smile.
“You should always wear flowers.”

Would it be bad if I said I hoped the next book (IF there is one) was also centered around Tella? I liked the first book BUT this one was just so much better in my opinion. I thought Garber’s writing had seriously improved, the plot was even more twisty than in book one AND Tella was just so damn likeable! 

Tella might have been many things, but she was far from silly or worthless or whatever labels people liked to affix because a person was young and female.

I only read Caraval once as an ARC so it’s been quite awhile but from what I can remember, Tella is so much fiercer than Scarlett. I loved her sass and how even in the moments where she knew she should be scared of the people and things happening around her, she put on a brave face. She always had a retort ready for Dante and Jacks or anyone else trying to stand in her way. I couldn’t get enough!

But Tella didn’t believe in impossible choices. In her experience one path was always clearly worse than another.

I was a huge fan of the plot centering around the Fates, too. I’ve always thought that the concept of fate was an extremely interesting thing so the fact that Tella had to worry about them AND a new game of Caraval made the stakes even higher this time. It was all so incredibly twisty and complicated and of course you never can tell what’s real or fake—who’s working for Legend and who’s genuinely trying to help Tella. I LOVE IT.

But Tella didn’t want to look at the stars. She wanted to see him.

There also might be a love interest in here that I am completely obsessed with. Extremely broody and obviously I will not be saying more, just know that I am all for this ship. 100%. That’s basically why I need another book if we’re being honest with one another, lol. 

Tella claimed she didn’t want love—she liked to say loved trapped and controlled and ripped hearts apart. But the truth was she also knew love healed and help people together, and deep down she wanted it more than anything.

Overall I was THOROUGHLY impressed, you guys. While the first one was good, this one was GREAT. All the stars!

“Don’t be like me and settle for the ease of an almost-ending, when you could have the true ending.”
“I’m not sure I understand what that even means,”
 Tella said.
“It means most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most.”

ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. THANK YOU NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the chance to read this early. ♥

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