‘Tis the Season for Fantasy, Thrillers, and Cheesy Holiday Rom-Coms!

Fa la la la la, la la, la, la! Am I one of those people? You bet I am. I love Christmas, and if it were even remotely acceptable to start celebrating in October, you bet I’d do that, too. But alas, I suppose two months of Christmas will have to be enough.

close up of christmas decoration hanging on tree

Photo by Gary Spears on Pexels.com

So it’s that time of year: the time to rewatch Harry Potter, Home Alone, The Grinch, and all the corny Hallmark Christmas movies. It’s also the perfect time to read all the thrillers, all the dark, atmospheric fantasy reads, and any wintery romance.

Of course, fantasies and thrillers are great to read any time of year, but isn’t it just so much nicer during the holidays? You can cuddle up in a warm fuzzy blanket, light a Christmas-y candle and read.

I say this like it actually gets cold where I am. Here in Hawaii, it doesn’t get below 70 degrees, so if I want to do any burrowing, I have to crank up the AC. But still!

51N8TdfrZ6LSo let’s talk about some of the books I’m planning on reading this holiday season! The first one is so obviously Christmas: My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of 12 short stories all set during the holidays. This will be perfect to read in the days leading up to holiday; I can read one story for each of the 12 days of Christmas! I’m especially excited to read the stories by Holly Black, Jenny Han, and Stephanie Perkins, who is actually the one author who edited and put the stories together.

9781492656623Next, I plan to read Furyborn, a fantasy from Claire Legrand¬†about two women one thousand years apart. From what I hear, it’s full of magic and action, and it sounds like the perfect book to curl up with and read with a cup of hot chocolate. Several of my friends have already read this and said amazing things about this, plus I’m excited to read Sawkill Girls by the same author!

9781101985380_p0_v2_s550x406Final Girls by Riley Sager has been on my TBR ever since it came out, and I can just see myself huddling deeper under my covers and cuddling with my husband while I read this, scared out of my mind. This is about a group of women who are the lone survivors are horror movie-like situations. I’ve been interested in this story since the moment I first heard the synopsis, so I’m pumped to finally dig into this in the next few months! Maybe not the spirit of Christmas but the perfect book to keep you company during the winter months.

9780142412145Another very obvious choice is Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. This is three different stories about a snowstorm in a town called Gracetown by three different authors. It sounds like the perfect formula for a cozy, adorable read that’s going to make my heart burst with happiness and Christmas cheer. Bring on the cheese, John Green! I’m ready!

815D5sneiNLThe last title I’m going to include in this collection is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This looks like the absolute perfect novel to get me through the cold nights of the AC blowing on my face… wait. Disregard. It will still be perfect magical read for the season!

I’d love to know what you lovely people will be reading during the holidays! Let me know in the comments below so that I can add those titles to my TBR!

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BOOK REVIEW: Holly Black “The Cruel Prince”

51n9H+zFt1L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

Jude and her sisters were stolen away from the human world to Faerieland when they were very young. They were forced to grow up in a foreign, hostile world and raised by the man who killed their parents. You could say that Jude feels like an outsider.

Still, while others might shy away and wish to look small and insignificant so as not to be a target for aggression or bullying, Jude still wishes to be a part of their world. She envies them: their beauty, their power, and their immortality.

She stands up for herself and keeps her head high even in the midst of brutality. But will Jude remain strong through every bit of cruelty that Prince Cardan throws her way?

My thoughts:

Jude was a very interesting character to me. The way that she reacted to her experiences and her situation was unique; after all, many would probably rebel against the man who had murdered their parents and stole them away from their world. Yet the dynamics of Jude’s family was strange: Madoc, their new “father”, seems to have developed genuine love for the girls through the years, even though he only shares blood with one of them. And the sisters don’t really seem to hate him. They do their best to adjust to the new lives they’re forced to live and make the best of things.

The bullying toward the sisters is pretty brutal. The fey don’t take very well to humans, and it’s strange to see them being raised alongside fellow fey. One faery in particular, Prince Cardan, seems to be particularly bothered by Jude’s presence, and she goads him by standing up to him. The prince and his gang participate in some very nasty activities with Jude and her twin, Taryn, making their lives miserable.

And yet, Jude’s response to this cruelty is a desire to rise above it and become stronger. She asks Madoc to train her more intensely in sword-fighting, and secretly moves her way through the ranks of the fey, grasping for power and affluence. It’s all very motivating and I found myself rooting for her and wishing for her to come out on top.

While I was reading this, I found myself very enamored by the story. However, sadly, I also found that once I finished The Cruel Prince and put it down, I wasn’t dying for a sequel. I wasn’t totally “wow-ed”. And when all is said and done, I found it pretty forgettable. I wasn’t particularly in love with any of the characters, nor was I so impressed with the world that I want to visit it again right away.

There is a great deal amount of hype surrounding The Cruel Prince. I never jumped on the hype train because I’ve never read anything by Holly Black before now, and I just didn’t see the big deal. It seems to be just another book about faeries.

Did The Cruel Prince live up to the hype? Not really. I don’t see why everyone is going nuts about it. Still, I enjoyed this enough to want to read any sequels and to read more of Black’s work. I look forward to seeing what else she brings to the table.

 

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