Tag Archives: love story

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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‘Had I but known, Tam-Lin, she said
What defeat this night I’d see
I’d’ve stolen both thine eyes
and changed thee fast into a tree.

‘Had I but known, Tam-lin, she said
before we left this night to roam,
I’d’ve et thy heart of flesh
and left thee with a heart of stone!’ -Tam Lin

 

Tam-Lin is a beautiful ballad that describes a teenage girl facing off against the Queen of the Faeries as she claims her inheritance of Cartenhaugh manor and her love for captive Tam-Lin.  I still have a beautiful picture book version of this tale that I would bring out each year on Halloween, aka the night that the Fairy Court allegedly rides out into the human world.

Anyone who knows me even the slightest is aware that my favorite Disney movie and fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast.  Stockholm Syndrome be damned, I think it is a lovely tale of learning to accept others for who they are, being ok with who you are, and that beauty is only skin deep.

This all ties into A Court of Thorns and Roses because the book is essentially a reimaginig of Beauty and the Beast with overtones of Tam-Lin.  In this case, the protagonist Feyre is held captive in the fairy world by a High Fae Lord named Tamlin after she unknowingly kills his friend while hunting.  Feyre, like Belle, is an outcast in her village.  Her family is impoverished, her mother had long ago passed away, and she is responsible for supporting her family.  Tamlin appears as a beast, but later transforms into a man, but with a mask that he cannot take off.  In fact, everyone in his court is stuck wearing masks, because of a blight that was cast long ago.

I bet you can imagine where this is going.  Feyre hates Tamlin at first for taking her away from her family and everything she has known, but as they become acquainted, save each others lives on several occasions, and Tamlin offers her an art gallery (unlike Belle, she’s an artist not a reader), their relationship gets steamy.  As a side note, I could not believe this book is considered “teen” fiction but perhaps I am becoming more sensitive in my (26 years) old age.  Anyways, this book is full of romance, adventure, fairies, an evil Queen, and pretty much everything fans of the fantasy genre will love.  While there are a lot of familiar elements in this book, it manages to be unique enough to create an engaging tale.  It’s passionate, it’s fast-paced, it’s the perfect summer escapist book.  If you haven’t read the ballad of Tam-Lin, I recommend doing so before starting this novel.

If I haven’t convinced you enough how enjoyable this book is, I just found out it’s a series and as much as I hate getting roped into them, I have to find out what happens next!

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Filed under Fiction, Romance, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Teen Books

“Atonement” by Ian McEwan

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In my quest to read at least 50 out of the 100 books on the BBC Book List Challenge, I chose Atonement because it is a short book and I saw the movie a few years ago.  I remember somewhat enjoying the movie, but found it a little depressing.  However, the book is always better than the movie so I went into this book hoping that good writing would make up for the melancholy theme.

Aptly titled, Atonement is a family saga of sorts that traces the aftermath of a young girl, Brionny, who witnesses her cousin being raped and mistakenly blames her sister’s lover (Robbie) for the crime.  I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but the title does make it clear she spends the rest of her life trying to atone for her error.

The success of the book comes from showing the maturity of Brionny, who transforms from a naive girl living in her head, to a nurse who rues her mistake and tries to find absolution with her sister (Cecilia) and Robbie.  Mixed in with Brionny’s character development is what happens to Robbie and his relationship  with Cecilia following the false accusation.

Does Brionny ever find forgiveness?  Do the Romeo and Juliet-esque lovers ever find their happy ending after being torn apart?  For those answers, you will have to read the book.

My only criticism of Atonement is the very last part, which seemed to drag on.  The only purpose seemed to answer the question of what happened to Robbie and Cecilia, but I think the reveal could have been done in fewer pages and still leave the reader satisfied.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for its en pointe writing and character development.

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Filed under Classics, Fiction

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

Relationships can be wonderful, but they can also be crippling. We’ve all been there. At least I know I’m not the only one who has been in a relationship that has held me back from reaching my full potential as a human being. It’s easy to fall into a routine because it’s comfortable, even when it is detrimental to your well-being. That is the case in “Me Before You,” an unconventional love story between a young woman named Lou and a man named Will. Lou has worked at a coffee shop for years. One day, her boss informs her that he is closing shop. Out of a job and desperate for money to support her family, Lou takes on a position as a caretaker for a quadriplegic, Will Traynor. Unlike Lou, Will has lived his life to the fullest: skiing, sky diving, traveling. He lived a large life and is in a deep depression since his world became confined to a chair.

As the novel progresses, the two become close. I won’t give away too much of the plot line, but they both start to become better people as their relationship deepens. For anyone who has been in a dead end job, relationship, or has felt stuck in life, you will relate to Lou and her struggle to try to find the courage to break away from old habits/negative people and do something meaningful with her life. This book is both heart breaking yet uplifting. It took me less than 48 hours to finish, even with my Fulbright obligations. It was such a good book, I took it with me everywhere and read as much as I could whenever I had a few free minutes. I also sacrificed a good nights sleep to read as much as I could. I haven’t read a book in a long time that has captivated me the way MBY has. Anyone looking for a book that is a quick read that pulls at your heart strings will enjoy MBY.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because of how unique the plot is. Also I am not a huge fan of romance novels so the fact that this book made me believe in true love again speaks to how worth reading it is.

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