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Lets Talk | Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Saturday, January 3, 2015
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Delacorte Press, 400 pages
Published: December 9, 2014
Source: Library
Format: eBook

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love? [goodreads]


A faery blessed (cursed) princess is disguised as a boy to save her brother 
and kingdom with the help of a witch cursed prince. YES.


I can’t remember the last time I read a standalone fantasy. After reading series after series, it was nice to know the story would start and end in one book.  

Stacy Jay writes a captivating fantasy about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, Aurora. The story begins with a confusing prologue that sets the backstory. I have to admit I was about to put off this book mid-prologue, but Jen from Books and Other Happily Ever Afters convinced me to continue. I owe Jen for the push because I ended up finishing Princess of Thorns in one sitting. 


Princess of Thorns tells the story of the two siblings fighting to take back their home and free their people from the evil who stole their throne ten years ago. Aurora is a headstrong, independent Princess who doesn’t take no for an answer. Growing up in the harsh reality without her mother, Aurora has been molded into princess who isn’t afraid of getting in the ring to fight --figuratively and literally. On a mission to save her brother and reclaim her throne, Aurora finds an unlikely ally in Prince Niklaas by deceiving him to believe she’s the lost Prince.


Where Aurora is ice cold and cautious, Niklaas is all warmth and charm. Niklaas, believing the princess is the prince, protects Aurora like a brother. He is caring but also cunning as his own agenda isn’t as selfless as it seems. Praise goes to Stacey Jay for the effortless relationship between Aurora and Niklaas. Their friendship evolved naturally and believably from cold strangers to “brothers”. The shift from Prince to Princess was also natural, and I love the transition in Niklaas’ attitude towards Aurora throughout the story. 


I would think by now I’d be weary of series, but I actually wouldn’t mind reading Princess of Thorns as a series. This book is highly entertaining, but I felt the story was rushed with a lack of backstory that made the world difficult to grasp. I want to know more about the ogres, witches, faeries, and royalty introduced in the story. Although a standalone limits the opportunity to further the world building, I am still pleased with how the book ended. Jay succeeds in tying loose ends in a satisfying conclusion. I definitely recommend Princess of Thorns to my series-weary friends who are looking for an engrossing fantasy with charming characters. 

Overall: 4 out of 5 

I'm keeping my goal for 2015 of writing a review before starting a new book. Lets hope I can keep this habit going! How are YOU handling the new year? What are your thoughts on 'PRINCESS OF THORNS"?

Epic Recs | January Intro

Friday, January 2, 2015
Epic Recs is hosted by Judith from Paper Riot and Amber from Books of Amber
Each month they recommend each other a book to read.

The girls and I are kicking off the new year by bringing Epic Recs back into our lives. Jen (Books and Other Happy Ever Afters) Aneeqah (My Not So Real Life), and Willa (Willa's Ramblings / Lit Up Review) and I are back together to continue the fun that is Epic Recs.

Each month will be a different combination of recommendations between Willa, Jen, Aneeqah, and I. For January, I am recommending THE RETRIBUTION OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin for Willa. Mara Dyer is one of my favorite series of all time, and I can't wait for Willa to finish the series so we can cry discuss the book together. Jen is recommending me a book this month, and she's recommending THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING by Robyn Schneider. This seems appropriate for the new year. I've only been hearing great things about Schneider's book and can't wait to begin.

Be sure to check out what the other girls are up to:

Come back at the end of the month to see our thoughts on our January Epic Recs. 


Top Ten Goals for 2015

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful people of Broke and Bookish
This week's topic: Top Ten Goals for 2015

Looking back at 2014, I realized I haven't participated in a TOP TEN TUESDAY since February. What better way to ease back into blogging than completing a Top Ten list?  

I've always said I'll write a review right after finishing a book, but clearly that's getting me no where. This year I'll be borrowing Jen's method (Jen from Books & Other Happy Ever Afters). Before Jen starts a new book, she reviews her most recent finished read. Hopefully I won't fall behind on reviewing next year. 

My books read to books reviewed ratio is just sad.

Does anyone else cringe while reading their past blog posts? I have to stop writing posts late at night. I never realized the drastic difference between my writing skills at 1pm and 1am until recently.

I am incredibly fortunate to live near a Powell's book store. I've had the chance to attend book events and meet with some of my favorite authors. Every time I attend I'm always careful to take pictures, but I never remember to jot down notes. Some of the best advice I've received were at these events, but rarely did I think to write them down. For 2015, I'll be adding a notebook and a pen with my camera bag.

A project I began this year was VY'S BOOKS, an instagram account in which I shared quick thoughts on books and attempt to use more camera more.

I usually don't read outside of YA unless it's for a school assignment. I plan on making an effort to broaden my reading tastes. 

For the past 3 years I've been reading a 100+ books a year, but this year I barely graced 40 books.

I know, I know. I've been hounded by many about my failure. 

There have been way too many instances in which have I sat down to write a review but then remember nothing about the book. 

For the past years, I've only been participating in the goodreads challenge and neglecting the other challenges. Annie from The Runaway Reader) made a great post, "The 2015 Challenge Masterlist", including a variety of reading challenges that I might consider. I've also found the popsugar 2015 challenge that seems interesting. Anyone care to join me?

(click to enlarge image)

What are YOUR goals for 2015? 
Share your links in the comments below!

Be sure to check out which books made my TOP 14 READS OF 2014 list!

Top 14 Reads of 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014


1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
This story was not what I expected in the best way possible.

2. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Warrior in training + Future King + Lost Magic = Fantastic Debut Novel

3. Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
A spot on thriller with captivating characters.

4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu [Mini Review]
I was not expecting such a dark and unpredictable fantasy.

Looks like 2014 was the year of endings. No wonder I've been an emotional mess.

5. The Treatment by Suzanne Young
I finished both The Program and The Treatment in two days! I can always count on Suzanne for some angsty romance.

6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
It has been a pleasure reading about these characters. Reading this on the plane was probably not the best idea as tears were streaming down my face.

7. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I still remember the day I received the ARC of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer my freshman year. After 4 years, the story of Mara dyer has come to an end, and I couldn't be happier with how Hodkin finished the story.

8. Ignite Me by Tahareh Mafi
As always, Tahareh does not disappoint.

9. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
I am incredibly impressed by Leigh’s beautiful storytelling. I wanted to quote the entire book.

10. Take Me On by Katie McGarry
A champion kickboxer and West. That is all.


11. Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
I NEED the next book now.


12. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I LOVE the concept of completing a bucket list! My friends and I actually made our own “Senior Year” bucket list inspired by this story. Also, FRANK PORTER. Read this and you will understand.

I will go into more detail about these great books soon Check the blog for the upcoming reviews!

13. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard [February 10, 2015]
You all NEED this book. Just trust me. Victoria really knows how to start a series.

14. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski [March 3, 2015]
A fantastic follow up to The Winner’s Curse.

It's about time I created my Top 14 with only 5 days left before 2015. As usual, I made my way over to my goodreads to select my books. I noticed something surprising when I checked my account. As everyone is finishing up their goodreads challenges, I noticed I am only at 35 books this year. THIRTY FIVE. I guess it's still a good amount, but compared to my last few years of finishing 100+ books, 35 books is an incredibly sad number. 

Unfortunately, this number makes sense as the end of senior year is quickly approaching. (How are my fellow senior bloggers doing?) The blog will continue to be slow as I finish up the last of my college apps. Fortunately I still have a little over a week left to read and blog. I know I missed many great 2014 titles and planning on squeezing in few more reads before 2015. 

What are some of your favorite 2014 titles that I definitely need to read?
Leave links to YOUR top reads of 2014 below!


The Young Elites by Marie Lu | Quick Thoughts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Putnam Books for Young Readers, 336 pages
Expected Publication
: October 7, 2014
Source: Publisher via First To Read
Format: eARC
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.


1. Marie Lu + Fantasy = Magical

Marie Lu has officially made my "authors I'll read anything from" list. She is absolutely fantastic at creative world building.  

2. Dark Story

What I loved most about The Young Elites was the darkness of the story. This story gets DARK. The morals in this world were borderline terrifying after I thought about them. The Dagger Society, a branch of the Young Elites, would talk about murder in the most casual way. As they justified the "sacrifices" I would nod along and think, "yes, I completely understand." Which we can all agree is pretty crazy.

3. Characters 

I loved that the line between hero and villain blurred. Lu wrote characters who weren't easily placed in category A or B. Honestly, ALL the characters were a tad bit sketchy. Every character had a fleshed out back story that made it difficult to hate them even when their actions were questionable. It was refreshing reading about characters who are unpredictable.

4. Unpredictable... everything

I've prided myself on being able to predict stories, but I was stumped by The Young Elites. It's a nice change in pace to be reading a story that could go anywhere. 


It was refreshing to read an unpredictable fantasy with such a dark plot. My only problems was that I had a difficult time emotionally bonding with the characters. As much as I loved their stories, I have yet to feel anything for any of the characters. But The Young Elites is a strong start to this series, and I can't wait to see how the story continues. 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 

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