Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Release date: March, 2013
Series: Stand alone
Page count: 288 pages
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
**I'm actually going to try a different review method to try and shorten things up so you all don't have to read my ramblings that you probably don't care about. Please let me know what style you prefer or think works better, be it the bullet points or my long (though in-depth) reviews**
WHAT I LIKED:
- It was a cute, fun read with lots of wit and sarcasm.
- The pig thing - just adorable! I actually hated the pig idea in the beginning, but it turns out the pig, though she didn't have a huge part, ended up being on of my favorite parts/characters.
- This book didn't drag on or linger on unnecessary parts of the story. It was a short, swift read with lots of silly, quirky fun.
- There wasn't a horrible insta-love. Maybe an "insta-like", but the story didn't end with a "I've known you for a week, lets be together forever," thank GOD!
- The potioning was interesting, and though I would've liked to know more about it, it was pretty bad ass that Kyra was a "master potioner."
WHAT I DIDNT LIKE:
- The writing was very simple. I know this is a young adult novel, but it feels like a book that was more meant for children rather than teens/young adults - you know, except for the parts that seemed borderline adult or sexual!! I'm not even going to bother elaborating, just know that some of it seemed too adult for the context the book was written in and it was almost uncomfortable. Super weird. In any event, the writing wasn't bad, don't get me wrong, but not great.
- "Major revelations" in the story came out of nowhere and seemed out of place or not explained very well.
- The world building was sort of... non-existent. I didn't understand the Kingdom of Mohr at all, and sort of going along with the major events being out of place, it just seemed poorly put together.
- It was more silly than I found acceptable. I thought it was a little too lighthearted in spots that it should've been just a bit more serious, considering the lives of the entire kingdom were at stake!!!! I don't know - that just annoyed me immensely!
- I was almost a little bored by it at times and found myself only reading dialogue or skimming over parts that didn't seem important.
- It was supposed to be set in what seemed like a historical time of some sort, but other than the absence of cell phones and skinny jeans, it seemed a little modern... or at least not "historical" enough.
I saw a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings for this book, and I read a few of them, and the readers/reviewers liked the same things I liked, but maybe didn't dislike the same things I disliked and saw fit to give a 4/5 star rating. I initially picked this book up because of the higher ratings and (I regret to admit) because I noticed the author had passed away before her book hit the shelves and I thought it would've been nice to support her and the family even after her passing. It seemed like a cute, fun read and I liked the cover art.
I almost feel bad about the fact that I didn't really like this book. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, but it wasn't my cup of tea. But I don't think I should say I like a book simply because the author was taken from the world too soon. I think a true artist such as herself would appreciate constructive criticism. I think I'm just trying to make myself better. So end of explanations and excuses. I simply didn't love it.
All in all, I didn't love this book, and I am pretty glad it was short, and though I liked that it was a change from what I usually read (dark, painful dystopian novels), it just wasn't for me. I didn't necessarily dislike it, but I definitely cant say I liked it either.
RATING: ★★ 1/2
Two and a half stars, because as I stated before, I'm sort of in between not liking it, and liking it enough for a three star rating. I'm glad I got to read it and experience it for myself, but it seems like I'm a fan of the slightly more serious YA novels, and this book helped me to figure that out.
I'd recommend this to anyone who might enjoy a fantasy book that is more geared toward adolescents and enjoys silly, fun storylines with not much death and doom involved.
Have any of you read this? I'm expecting an onslaught of criticism for my almost-dislike of the book. Go ahead, tell me what you really think, I'm open! Am I being too harsh, or do you agree with me?
P.S. I know I tried to shorten up my review but it doesn't seem like I did, haha. Maybe just simplified my ramblings by adding bullet points? Well anyhow, what do you think as compared to my last review? Please be honest!