Poison Princess. Kresley Cole.

13450339Poison Princess
by Kresley Cole

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So, where to start?

It’s so hard and yet so easy to review this. First off, when I started reading this, I couldn’t decide if I was liking it or hating. I disliked it because the way it was written, reminded me of more mature, adult novels. So I had this massive frown creasing my young forehead and I had alarms going on in my head saying, ‘hurry up and start making this feel more either awesome or well more YA’. Though, technically, the story does begin set in a highschool with the usual highschool gimmicks whatnot. But yet, there’s a depth to the writing, the style of writing and the plot that you don’t ordinarily see in YA, except maybe in The Darkest Minds.

I DON’T make this comparison lightly. But yet when I finished Poison Princess and tried to think of something to compare it to that was YA, The Darkest Minds comes to mind. Yet at the same time, it also doesn’t match up because of the difference in style.

KRESLEY COLE is interesting. I’ve heard her name and in conjunction with other authors such as Gena Showalter who writes the Lords of the Underworld series I like. But I was never really game enough to read a book of Cole’s. Since I don’t usually venture into that genre unless by coincidence – usually a really surprising coincidence. But this time, I deliberately chose to read Poison Princess. And I had no idea what to expect.

WHAT I DIDN’T EXPECT came firstly in the form of the plot and story telling. There are only three scenes in the book that are not told from Evie’s perspective. It’s how the story begins. So that was cool. And then the story starts rolling. Since this a post-apocalytic/fantasy novel, it goes from good to bad pretty quickly. But yet it happens in nice slow stages. Which is something I don’t really see often in YA. Generally the events begin after the end of the world…but in Poison Princess we see Evie’s life before the “Flash” and then what happens after. Normally I’d be annoyed with stories that show the “before” stage, because I just feel it’s necessary, but in this, it’s like Cole waved a magic wand over my head and said, I will make you fall in love with all these characters, then take them away from you and let you cry as Evie cries. Only, I didn’t cry, but I felt the pain that Evie went through just as the Flash comes through. And I was surprised, because I knew everything that I had just been reading was only build up, noise stuff that I usually see characters narrating on post-end of the world in other end of the world novels. I was so surprised I actually cared! And then well, I just had to keep reading.

EXCEPT. It took me two days longer to finish this. I got so so busy that I had to stop reading halfway through and finally get back to it two days later, today. I could not put it down today at all. I just had to finish it.

I compared this to The Darkest Minds because Ruby throughout the entire book, did not fully use her powers. Indeed they were there, but Ruby had been terrified of using them for fear of persecution. Which is similar to how Evie acts throughout the entire novel. But in comparison, Evie denies that is capable of doing more than doing a little. Technically she doesn’t deny, she hides it from Jackson. Which drives him crazy.

SPEAKING OF JACKSON. Enter the love interest. He’s tall, dark haired, hot and handsome, total teenage boy and Cajun. I emphasised this because in the novel, his dialogue is written to the way he speaks. It’s great for texture, but hell, sometimes it was just plain annoying only because I myself have never actually heard a Cajun accent, and can only presume from the way it’s presented in the book. What I loved though, was the use of Cajun throughout the novel. I like it when there are sentences of other languages in novels, it adds more flavour and well, it’s great as long as the translation doesn’t get confusing.

BUT. Jackson was an asshole, I find a lot of the time he was an asshole, even though he never leaves Evie alone to fend for herself, though at one stage she leaves, and then they have this totally awesome screaming match which Evie finally conveys what’s in her head (well, not the secrets). Most of the time, he’s a jerk with Evie but he’s the ‘teasing’ kind of love interest so I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a hundred times over at the clichedness of his type of character.

WHICH is why, I found myself liking an Evie and Jackson pairing, despite his clichedness. I liked that there’s plenty of ‘get to know’ time, and there’s also time where they’ve been separated. I like that they have strong chemistry, the kind that’s built on a complication of feelings and not just physical attraction.

I WONDER how many books are there out there based on the ‘Arcana’ and Tarot cards. I’ve seen a bit in manga, but not much in novel form, though I might scrounge around a bit more to see if there are. My point is, this story is based on the Arcana, and even though I didn’t get much feeling of the arcana in the premise, when I read it, I felt as though the actual cards had come alive. I liked being swallowed into Cole’s world. It’d engulfed me before I even realised. It was surprising!

All I can say is, right now, I am absolutely dying to read the second one. I’m positively drooling to find out what happens since Cole left me completely hanging with a cliffhanger!!! Seriously no fair!

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Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore. A Suggestive Read.

The Excitement.

I cannot wait to read this! While Fire was both on my hate list and love list, I really liked Graceling! So I cannot wait for Bitterblue.

The Status Updates.

05/25/2012       “I actually can’t believe I finally have my hands on this. Omg, can’t wait! it’ll be absolutely amazing or absolutely disappointing…”
05/26/2012     50.0% “I loved how this began! I really like the way Cashore depicted this confused little queen…I wonder how it will end? why do I get the sense that Bitterblue is not going to end with Saf? Asides from the obvious fact that they’re on different levels of society?”
05/26/2012     51.0% “Omg lol, just hit the part where Saf and Bitterblue just…oh god, I really feel for Bitterblue. It’s really not her fault for who she is and I think Saf is being an ass about it, which I also think is really well written!”
05/27/2012     68.0% “The only thing that annoys me about Bitterblue is her constant questioning, otherwise, I really like her voice. I like that she tries to care. Cashore’s writing makes her seem slightly naive, but I think it suits Bitterblue’s character. I mean I didn’t like Fire much, but I’m thinking I like Bitterblue quite a bit, kind of like how much I liked Graceling.”

The Book.

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)

The long-awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Gracelingand Fire

Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace. 

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck’s death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck’s reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea’s past has become shrouded in mystery, and it’s only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle – curious, disguised and alone – to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past. 

Whatever that past holds. 

Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . . 

Praise for Kristin Cashore 

‘This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible’ School Journal 

‘A WOW of a book. I HAD to know how it ended’ Tamora Pierce 

‘Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious’ Kirkus

The Review (by that I mean something that looks like My Review).

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think Graceling and Fire were both pedestals to the creation of this unbelievable book. It’s ridiculous that I didn’t like Fire as much as Graceling, and that I found the love between Katsa and Po, while hot, it seemed too inevitably, too contrived. But Bitterblue and Saf, oh my, I loved them. I sorry to hear how it ended, but I liked that. I really liked this book.

I think what I liked best about this book was Bitterblue’s voice; her story and how she deals with the remains of her father’s kingdom. I loved the way Cashore tied everything together neatly, no plotholes, and the way she focussed on Bitterblue. I really cannot say how well this entire novel is so perfectly perfect. Okay well I might be exaggerating a bit, but in the common thread, yes this is a well plotted, well written, and definitely entertaining read.

The writing, I think, while good, it would be the one aspect of Cashore books I would get annoyed at if I reread this, Fire and Graceling again. I mean it’s good writing, but it makes the characters seem less mature than they are. Except in this, asides from all of Bitterblue’s annoying questions, which in turn I find, well justified, the writing fully brings to light Bitterblue’s character.

Just loved this…stayed up to finish it. Can’t believe this is the last book. Sigh. Thanks Cashore. Can’t say how much I love this novel. I loved it like Graceling, and well Fire, I guess I have to read you again don’t I?

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