I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Story (Yes, that’s her real name) is a young woman who has spent most of her life feeling like she doesn’t belong. She was raised by a loving single mother, and has not one but two best guy friends who understand her better than she understands herself. But she still constantly deals with a strange, broken feeling.
This book starts off slowly, but once Story travels from our world to the fairy tale land, the pace picked up.
I didn’t like or dislike Story as a heroine. She could be very impulsive, selfish, and even a little mean at times. Both of her best friends, Adam and Elliott, love her so much that they refuse to let her go on her adventure alone. They follow her to another world and risk their lives several times for her, and I felt like she was ungrateful at times. She seemed to learn to appreciate them more as the book progressed, but I don’t like it when the heroine doesn’t appreciate a good support system.
Wile in the fairy tale world, she slowly regains memories that have been lost since childhood, and reunites with people who have been devoted friends of hers for a long time. By far my favorite old friend of hers was Bliss, a tiny Thumbelina with a giant attitude. And I also liked Jess, the Red Riding Wolf Slayer.
It was a great idea to focus on these more obscure fairy tales and not the more easily recognized fables. I was expecting characters like Cinderella and Snow White to make an appearance, and while they did, it was a cameo instead of a starring role.
I’m not a huge fan of world building so I rarely read high fantasy. I can’t help feeling boredom when scenery and magical powers are described in detail. However, just because I don’t like it, that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize when it is well written. While reading, It felt like the author had actually visited this enchanted world, and was simply recounting everything she saw.
My biggest complaint about the book is the romance between Story and Nicholas. I have read a lot of romantic books, in fact, most of what I read has romantic focus. A lot of those books have included over the top, cheesy romance, and despite the cheese factor, I still enjoyed them. I like it when the man and woman say romantic things to each other, I really do, but I couldn’t stand the romance in this book.
If a romance is too cheesy for me, then that’s pretty darn cheesy. It read like an older Harlequin romance novel, and I’ve never liked those, and some of the language story used when thinking about Nicholas made me cringe. It wasn’t raunchy, it was dated and awkward. I mean who actually thinks that they want a guy to “ravish” them?
I also didn’t like the way Story would push Nicolas away one moment and cling to him the next. But in defense of the writing, this was pointed out to her by several of the supporting characters. I never connected with them as a couple, and I found myself wishing that another couple were the focus of the book. I wonder how much more I would have enjoyed the book if Bliss or Jess were the heroine instead of Story, and I’m pretty sure that I would have liked it a lot more.
This really was a good book that I simply did not connect with. If you like world building, original takes on fairy tales, and over the top romance, this is the book for you. It is very well written, and the pacing picks up about 25% of the way into the book and never slows down again.
Because of sexual content, violence, and mild language, I would recommend this book for ages 17 and up. There are a couple of sex scenes, but nothing too graphic.