Saturday, January 16, 2016

Review: F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher

Greetings, readers! Happy Saturday and welcome to Fiction Fairies. Today I'll be reviewing F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher.

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she's not - unstructured, untethered,
and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful... if he wasn't dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn't.
Summary from

Yay for Ron Swanson.

There. That was dramatic.
I mean, I knew Tarryn Fisher has a fantastic writing style, but I still wasn't expecting this.
I read her book Marrow several months ago and was captivated. Horrified. Amazed. Fisher's writing grips you by the throat and refuses to let you breath until you read the very last word of her book. The same thing happened to me with F*ck Love.

The first half of the book, I was just going along with Helena and Kit. I wasn't super happy with them. I hate angst, and this story has it in spades. Then, about 70% through, the truth of the book hit me.
Like a truck.
Fisher spoke to me in this book - a lot of the message she sends directly applied to me. She talks about holding yourself back, conforming to expectations, lying to yourself, wanting what's safe, being afraid to let go of yourself and show people who you really are. She even mentions at one point how reading romance novels is just an escape mechanism, a way to avoid reality and responsibility.

That's the nature of the truth, though. What's fun about being dropped into ice water? That's why half the world walks around wearing rose-colored glasses, watching comedies and reading romance books.
When I read the quote, I didn't want to admit how accurate it was.
Who wants to hide from the truth? Maybe people who have had too much of it. Or people who have had too little. Or people who are too shallow to appreciate its hard edges.
I was, once again, horrified after reading this book. But unlike with Marrow, I wasn't horrified by the darkness of human nature/how unfair the world is. With this book,  I was horrified with how much I hold myself back, how much I avoid reality, and how much life I'm missing. When I finished F*ck Love, I wanted to run outside and buy the next plane ticket to Iceland and start my world-wide exploration. I had this huge desire to just live the life I've always dreamed of and be happy and sad and heartbroken and exhilarated.
It's an inspiring book.
It pokes at all your rules and asks, "Why can't you be you? Why can't you do that? Don't regret never taking the leap."


The characters honestly bugged the heck out of me. I liked them 50% of the time and wanted to slap them the other 50%.

  • Although Helena was cute and funny and a total Harry Potter dork, she was also weak, and melodramatic. While her stalker tendencies made me laugh a lot, she also frustrated me to no end.
  • Kit... I... I didn't get it. What was so great about him? So many people freaking loved him. He was just a mysterious, hipster artist who loved passionately and spoke only when he had something meaningful to say. Not my type, but maybe it's yours?
  • Greer was like a fairy with lavender hair who was free-spirited and sweet and sassy and brought out the "real" Helena.
  • Helena's best friend was annoying and a horrible human being.

The romance was, like I said before, not my cup of tea. I loathe angst and broody, moody relationships full of passion and scorned lovers. But as I understand it, a number of people enjoy that.
The plot kept me captivated! I read the whole book in one day. No joke.
To conclude: 
I was quite frustrated with the characters, while at the same time morbidly fascinated. I was hooked, and couldn't put down the book. Fisher's writing style is magnificent... Spell-binding. The words flow beautifully. The main ideas behind F*ck Love really hit home with me, and seriously made me reconsider myself and my life ambitions. I'm going to have to re-read this one.

I'll wrap it up with one of the more moving quotes, which also represents a critical message in the book:
Don't be upset that you can't attain constant happiness. It's the quickest way to feel like a failure in life. If each of our lives represented a page in a book, happiness would be the punctuation. It breaks up the parts that are too long. It closes off some things, divides others. But it's brief - showing up when it's needed and filling tired paragraphs with breaks.

If you have any comments to share, I would love to hear them!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: The Wolf Queen (Arcadia #2) by Kelley Heckart

Greetings, readers! Happy Monday, and welcome to Fiction Fairies. Today I'll be reviewing The Wolf Queen, which is the second book in the Arcadia series by Kelley Heckart.

A new twist on Beauty and the Beast and the Greek myth of Lycaon the werewolf. A Bronze Age fantasy, adventure, and romance set in Arcadia, the wild forests of the goddess Artemis... Game of Thrones meets The Iliad...

A tormented wolf man... A mysterious girl with a terrible secret...

Alara, a princess from a foreign land, is forced to wed the sorcer-king Aramond, a power-hungry warlord who discovers her dark secret and wants to use her to create an invincible army. When she meets Lycaon, she must decide if she should trust the cursed, tormented half-man half-wolf who might be her enemy or her true mate.

Lycaon, once a great king until her was cursed by Zeus to be a werewolf, is drawn to the mysterious princess. He is torn between helping Alara escape and using her to gain power over those who despise him.

Secrets abound and old enemies are reunited to battle Aramon before his terrible plan is unleashed. Time is running out as the dark moon approaches. Soon, Arcadia will be overrun with an unstoppable, vicious army unless Aramon can be defeated. To prevent his victory, the cost is high. As Lycaon's affection for Alara grows, it becomes more difficult for him to decide which to save: Arcadia or her.

Copy of The Wolf Queen provided by the author for an honest review

Tomorrow, I have an AP Chem test. Therefore, being the amazing student I am, I decided to binge-read a book. I chose this one.

I need to stress the fact that for the past month, I've been reading urban fantasy. Like, by the boatload. And a lot of the ones I've been reading are highly polished, very popular series. So the jump to a different genre was probably a poor idea.

The Wolf Queen is a blend of mythology and paranormal/fantasy romance - and I can honestly say I haven't read anything quite like it. Normally I stay away from mythology... It's not my thing, unless it's a Persephone re-write. So please bear this in mind: mythological fantasy romance just ain't my cup of tea. Not anything against this book or others like it, I just don't enjoy it as much.

That being said...

The characters in The Wolf Queen are an interesting bunch. We have a mysterious young woman Alara who is both fierce and vulnerable. Lycaon is a moody man cursed to be a werewolf (basically) and holds Alara's fate in his hands. He's... Well, you either like him or you don't. He was a bit dominating and broody for my taste, but I'm hypersensitive to bouts of brooding so
There's a ton of other characters that I'm too lazy to write about because I actually intend to study for AP Chem eventually.

The romance did not click with me. I'm not sure if I got used to a slow build (from the previous UF series I've been reading) or what, but this felt like insta-love and insta-lust to me. I mean... Hmm... Just... Less than a week to fall in love???

I'm sure it happens, but I'm more of the mindset "I'll believe it when I see it".

It probably works for ancient Greek times because, hey, their life spans were hella short.

The plot was very exciting and changed constantly. I never knew what was going to happen and it kept going places I didn't anticipate.

To conclude: If mythological fantasy romance is your thing, check it out! If not, I still don't see how it'd hurt. It was a fun, lighter read and all.

Disclaimer: I haven't read the first in the series so I was kind of confused when I read The Wolf Queen.

Thank you Kelley Heckart for providing the ebook!

If you have any comments to share, I'd love to hear them.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop

Greetings, readers! Happy Sunday and thanks for stopping by Fiction Fairies. Today I'll be reviewing Written in Red, which is the first novel in the The Others series by Anne Bishop.

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities - vampires and shape-shifters among them - who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide if she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Summary from

First impressions pack a punch. Ever tried a dish - maybe tacos - for the first time, and it was horrible? And then you tell yourself, "Goodness gracious, I am NEVER eating tacos again! Tacos are evil." But a few years down the road your friend makes you tacos, and says they're the best thing ever. And after tasting this glorious creation, you decide that hey, tacos aren't so bad.

This was my experience with Anne Bishop. Once upon a time, I tried reading her Black Jewels series. It did not go well. Then  I decided to give her another shot with Written in Red and I was quite happy with my choice.

The characters are funny, if a bit cliche? Simon is very wolf-y in that he thinks like an animal and can be quite childish or simple in his reasoning. It's cute, but frustrating too. Meg is kind of a Mary Sue, which apparently is Anne Bishop's tendency for MCs. Meg is sweet and innocent, and for some reason unknown, everyone likes her and wants to protect her. It sounds horrible, but it didn't get on my nerves too much. Everyone else is kind of just there... I mean, they play a role but eh.
Sam is Simon's kid nephew and is super adorable though.
And it bothers me. I'm halfway through Book 3, and it's STILL NOT THERE.
This is partly due to Meg's extremely innocent nature, and Simon's inability to recognize his own feelings. But maybe no romance is a plus for you! If so, kudos to you. You'll probably enjoy it very much. For me, though, romance is my sustenance. If it ain't there, I might just wither away to nothing.
The story is good - it kept me on my feet. But one complaint I have is that the action is very plot-driven and not character-driven at all. Things keep happening one after the other, and Meg/Simon/etc just have to keep dealing with it.

The world-building is spot-on though; you'll be happy to see it grow and develop marvelously with each book.

To conclude : it's a book that easily kept my interest (I kept sneaking my phone out to read during class) and I got sucked in very quickly. I wish the romance was heavier, but overall I think it's a fun read. The paranormal beings are ruthless in this series, and see humans as meat. I found it refreshing instead of having the same old romantic, lusty perspective most authors take on. 10% of me was "ew, they just tore the human to pieces and ate him" and 90% was "Whoa. MUST KEEP READING!"

If you have any comments to share, I'd love to hear them!!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson #3) by Patricia Briggs

Greetings, readers! Happy Monday and thanks for stopping by. Today I'll be reviewing Iron Kissed, the third book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether her wants her to or not.

Mercy's loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

summary from

If you've ever lived in a snowy, cold place, you know that ice can be a nasty jerk. You'll be walking across a parking lot, minding your own business, when BAM! There's ice on the pavement that you didn't see, and you just slipped and fell on your butt. In front of a lot of people.
Who may or may not have laughed.
(April = my spirit animal)

I've been there.

And Iron Kissed was a mean, nasty jerk like that hidden ice. It popped out of nowhere with this huge surprise, and smacked you around a bit. I CRIED. All of a sudden I was crying and I was like, "What is this??? Where are these tears coming from???? What have you done to me, Patricia Briggs????"

The storyline started out like every other Mercy Thompson book... Until the big, huge, shocking twist came. And even though it hurt and I was stunned, it was a good, a very good, story.
The characters are, as I've said before, charming and entertaining.
The romance is a LOT more defined and clear-cut. The love triangle died early on, and there's big development. Which made me happy.

To conclude: if you are a Mercy Thompson fan, you must read this book. It will kill a small part of you, but you will understand how necessary it is.

If you have any comments you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!


Review: Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2) by Patricia Briggs

Greetings, readers! Happy belated holidays - hopefully they were awesome and you all had some fantastic food to keep you happy. Thanks for stopping by Fiction Fairies. Today I'll be reviewing Blood Bound, which is the second book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places - and in dark ones. And now hse owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary - and neither is the demon inside of him.

Summary from

Over winter break, I stumbled upon the genre of Urban Fantasy. And I was HOOKED. I have read countless books these past two weeks... No, honestly, it's scary how much I've been reading. I think I found my favorite genre! It's awesome.

(Can we take a moment to appreciate Ron Swanson and the amazing show that is Parks and Rec? If you haven't already, WATCH IT. The first season is slow, but it's fantastic.)

In case you're looking for some good UF books to read, I recommend the following:
The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost

And a lighter, funny read (that can be, at times, frustrating):
The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones

It is from this newfound obsession that I discovered the Mercy Thompson series. So far, it is extremely entertaining!!

The story is satisfying - enough action and mystery that readers are kept on their toes. The mystery is kept a mystery and it's hard to guess where it will go (at least for me). I never had the problem of knowing what the "big surprise" is. Patricia Briggs kept the details murky, so it was almost impossible to anticipate what the reveal would be.

The characters either charm you, or bore you.
For me, I enjoyed them and can see good stuff happening with the mix. Mercy is our MC and is a "walker" who can shift into a coyote, and also a mechanic. She's a tough, no-nonsense character who is hard to dislike. She lives next to Adam, the hottie Alpha of the regional werewolf pack. Samuel, another werewolf, is an old flame of Mercy's and recently moved to the area. As you can imagine, they have a love triangle goin' on... But somehow, it's not obnoxious or annoying. Mercy really doesn't toy with them or know what she's doing, so she sort of ignores their efforts. I'm interested as to how it all plays out.
Chris Evans as Dr. Samuel
Side note: I immediately imagined Samuel as Chris Evans. Don't ask me why, I just did.

The romance is pretty non-existent. I mean there are hints and whatnot, but the books mainly focus on the action. Being a romance fanatic, I thought this would frustrate me, but I think it works.

Overall, the series seems very promising and I know I'll be reading the next several.

If you have any comments to share, I'd love to hear them! Book recommendations are welcome too ;)