Review: Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

Series: Effigies #1
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 368 (ARC)
Source: BlogBound Con
Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.

When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.

But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.

Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.

Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.

Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This book is described as Avengers meets Pacific Rim meets Sailor Moon. This means some seriously kickass ladies fighting crime as the whole word watches. Sign me up for this amazingness. Upon finishing this book, my feelings may have changed. There's a whole lotta good, but also a decent chunk of not so good. Thus, I am doing this review in list style because it's the only way I can organize my thoughts on this. Let's get the bad out of the way first.

  1. I had no idea I was pretty but now the entire world knows syndrome. I have a really strong dislike of this YA trope. Main character is secretly pretty but is super unaware of it because she's a huge introvert with no friends, the entire world eventually finds out, and she has no idea what's going on. I'm just over it, you know? It's just as bad as constantly harping on being plain.
  2. A cute boy suddenly likes me whaaaaaaat. The same time Maia finds out she's gorgeous, there's a cute Sect operative that is hipster-chic following her around everywhere, making her blush and he's blushing and blah blah blah. Honestly, the romance seemed super forced and it wasn't interesting to him.
  3. I can conveniently forget about the only family I have left, yeah! Maia is whisked away by The Sect and never talks to her Uncle again. She never got to tell him about her being an Effigy and he had to find out through television with the rest of the world. This is just really out of character, you know? Her twin sister and parents died so all she has left is her Uncle and she kind of forgets about him. Every now and then there's a mention about how she wants to talk to him, but it's put there seemingly as an afterthought because it's right for her to be worried. The Sect says she can't reach out to him and she just forgets about him again until there's one small thought about him a few chapters later. It's just really out of character and the situation is uncomfortable and my guess is he's dead or something because nothing else makes sense.
  4. Tell me, book, what is pacing? The book doesn't know because it goes so fast. I mean, sure, it's a super fast read, but half the time I forgot what city they were in because the passages were so quick. I had to re-read a few times to firmly grasp instances because things just went over my head the first time. I barely had the time to wrap my thoughts around an idea before it was onto the next one. I hope the pacing is better in book two.
  5. Evil guy is evilly evil. An evil guy that's really confusing comes out of nowhere and wants Maia, and only Maia, the second she finds out she's the next Effigy. It's all just really cliche?
  6. The Sect knows everything and nobody else has any idea what's going on. This is probably my biggest issue with this book. The Sect just knows everything in a world that seems to lack in logic. Maia suddenly becomes the next Effigy but she can't control her powers (what? #1), and they just know (what? #2). They just know it's her even though she's told literally nobody, not even her Uncle. How do they know?! It makes no sense. And, furthermore, Maia is just chosen, but there's no rhyme or reason as to why (what? #3). I don't like it. Every superhero has an origin story about how they got their powers and why they're chosen and she just woke up in the middle of the night and exploded a light bulb. Not enough. I need more. Better plot building please!
  1. Diversity and Awesome Characters For the Win. The four Effigy's are very diverse. Maia is at least half Jamaican, Chae Rin is an Asian circus performer from Canada that is very secretive about her family, Lake is a British wannabe pop singer that fears her powers, and Belle is a french foster-kid that was once abused and now kicks some major ass. Each character is set apart from the rest and can hold their own, and I want to learn more about them.
  2. Girl Power. I also love how these 4 very different people came together to fight together and become a team against all odds. The girl power in this is amazing, and I adore it. At first there was resistance, but you see the group slowly accept each other and this is going to be one awesome hero story as it continues. I can't wait to see its progression in book two.
  3. Creepy Organization is Creepy. While I have my issues with the lack of world-building about The Sect, I love the idea of an organization trying to save the world that is simultaneously a huge threat to the world, too. It leads to some really twisty conspiracies and plots that I can't wait to read more about in book two. It will definitely keep readers focused.
  4. An Ode to Fandoms. Maia is a fangirl. She loves the Effigies so much that she blogs about them and stalks forums about them. She's a girl of fandoms, and I think we can all somehow relate to her. Relability is always important!

With everything above in mind, I am still very curious about book two. Things got significantly better by the end of the series and the politicking in The Sect organization is really making me curious. So, while book one wasn't as amazing as I hoped it would be, there is definite promise in book two. Raughley has the capacity to correct issues in book one, and I am ready for this twisty tale to continue!

2.5 stars

|Goodreads|Amazon|Book Depository|Author's Website|

FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.

Stacking the Shelves #120

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


I have barely been active this month because SO MUCH has happened. My internship surprised me by letting me go to New York Comic Con, I wrote, edited, and turned in the first ten pages of my honors thesis, I got really sick, my train line got suspended, and I've been studying for my midterms.

My blog has taken a temporary backseat because of that. But, I've gotten a ton of books so far this month and when in doubt, haul it out.

From New York Comic Con

 The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (and an awesome t-shirt!)
Hunted by Megan Spooner
Geekerella by Ash Poston
The Wish Granter by CJ Redwine
Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Roseblood by AG Howard
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Girl Code by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

For Review From Simon and Schuster (thank you!!!)
The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine

From Harper via Edelweiss (thank you!!!)
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
By Your Side by Kasie West
Beheld by Alex Flinn
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli


This haul is spectacular, and it's just what I needed to get me back into reading! Have you read any of these or are you eagerly anticipating them just like me? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Waiting on Wednesday #80

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick of the week is...
Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Reading Level: Young Adult
The follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, next in a breathtaking YA fantasy series hailed by Alexandra Bracken as "a world you will want to inhabit forever."

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In this follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake—and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik—cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch.

Why I Am Waiting 

I cannot express to you my love of this book's predecessor, TRUTHWITCH. I waited in line for six hours at BEA for this book because I was so excited for it and had to guarantee myself a copy. The love is that real. I have been a fan of Susan's ever since she published her first book with HarperTeen, Something Strange and Deadly. In fact, Susan was my first ever picked up review on Edelweiss and even my first ever author signing. Forever a fan and super thankful of my current internship with this amazing publisher.


Are you equally as excited for this book as me? Is there another book you are even more excited about? Please share your thoughts with me below!

Let's Talk About It: When ARCs Attack

If you're anything like me, you accidentally find yourself hoarding ARCs. It hasn't been as bad for me lately because I haven't attended any conventions this year, but it's still a bad habit of mine. My gut instinct is to put a book on my shelf after reading it, then I accidentally forget that the books are there. If I love a book, I always buy the finished copy. But, by doing this, I have a lot of books that end up on my shelves as doubles, ones that were satisfactory but not wow-worthy, or ones I didn't like at all.

So, over the past 4.5 years of blogging, I've donated over 500 books to various places, and I thought I'd create a post about where to give ARCs when you're literally buried under the TBR pile.

1. Books for Trade
I recently turned to this hashtag and it was way overwhelming. I don't really plan on doing it again. I will say, though, that if you want to get something in return for your books, this is the way to go. Someone gets the ARC you no longer want, and in return you get something you do want! And it'll only cost $3. I traded more for the rarer ARCs I had in my collection and am so happy they all found great homes!

2. Sell for Shipping
I also did this when I turned to the hashtag for a great majority of my books. I calculated shipping costs and asked for an extra few cents to buy the bubble mailer and sent out books. I made no profit, but the point is I shipped out 80+ books and didn't lose any money either. ARCs I no longer wanted went to people who did want them, and I got the out of my home like I wanted to make room for other books. Win/Win. Just need a Paypal account!

3. Local High School/Middle School
I turned to Books for Trade because I used to donate all of my old books to my high school. Our budget was slashed so my English teacher took it upon herself to create a library for students to use as they please. I singlehandedly stocked this library over the course of four years, and when our sister school's budget was slashed, I helped stock that one too. Now, they're so stocked that they turn me away with a smile when I give them the yearly email of "I HAVE BOOKS, PLEASE TAKE THEM!" because they can't anymore. It's a great feeling to know you're helping out, and it helps them get some amazing stories like ARCs of THE RAVEN BOYS or SIX OF CROWS into their hands without worrying about budget.

4. Local Public Library
 In my case, my library refuses to accept ARCs. I tend to go there with bags of finished copies whenever I clean out my shelves. The librarians divvy them up and put them out. I will say, though, that some libraries have budgets slashed so much they will accept ARCs, and it's so nice to share with libraries because the books can be loved by many. For example, the library two towns over does display ARCs with a warning that it's not the finished story because it helps stock their shelves.

5. Homeless Shelters
This is one that a lot of people don't realize they can donate to. Homeless shelters, women's shelters and family shelters specifically, can use books for their residents. They're free and typically something they can put to good use as budgets aren't necessarily putting huge focuses on books in such places. There have been studies that literary rates aren't as high in homeless communities, and you can take a small part in changing that.

6. Children's Hospitals
In all of the places I have donated, this has been my favorite place to donate. Thankfully, I haven't spent much time in children's hospitals, but when I was in the 3rd grade, my sister spent some time in one. They had a lot of movies to rent out, but that was about it. So whenever I get the chance, I call up my local children's hospital and ask if they're willing to accept some books. I have never been turned down. Typically they accept them on the condition that they're smoke free and pet hair free to avoid any outside stressors or allergic reactions in their kids, but it is so useful to them! Children aged 0 to 18 in children's hospitals are typically there because they're battling their hearts out, and sometimes all they need is a good book to escape reality for a little while. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND LOOKING INTO THIS ONE! This was the most rewarding for me.

7. The Big Ole Recycling Bin
I rarely do this. In 4.5 years I have maybe recycled 10 ARCs? Most of them have been damaged in one way or another, so I didn't feel comfortable giving them to anyone else. However, ARCs are worthless. They can't be sold. They can be shared or collected, and if that doesn't work, the recycling bin is an option. Helps the environment and whatnot.

8. Little Free Libraries 
Little Free Libraries are popping up more and more everywhere. The point of one is that you put a book into it and then grab a book from it in turn. When finished, you can put the book back and grab another, etc. Instead of going to grab books, you can show up with a few ARCs you need to get rid of and put them in there so that other people can enjoy them!

9. Drop Them In Parks Or Other Public Spaces 
I have never done this, but I know many people have. On a sunny day, go to the park and just leave some books laying around. Someone is bound to pick it up. Would I go out of my way to pick up a book left on the stairs to the slide? Probably not. But someone will. And if someone doesn't, then you won't know the wiser. 

10. Giveaways
Always fun, always a way to gain a follower or two, always reliable to get books off your shelves. Just gotta shell out a couple bucks if you're in a place where you're financially able to do so.


I do not think any of these options are better than others. It just depends on your situation, what is easiest for you, and whether you're looking to get something from. What do you do with your ARCs when they begin to overwhelm your shelves? Did this post help you with any ideas? Do you have other ideas that I should add to the post? Comment below with your thoughts!

September Monthly Recap

~*~On The Blog~*~
September has been a crazy month for me, mostly because I started my last semester of college. I am working on my thesis and that's taking up a lot of my time, hence why I only managed to read four books this month and barely got any reviews up! My blog has definitely been diversifying itself content wise.  My internship is amazing though and I'm just really super content with where I am at in life. I can't believe I have to start adulting so soon.

Books Reviewed:
Beast by Brie Spangler - 4 stars

Books Read This Month:
I have challenged myself to read 75 books this year, let's see if I can! I'll be keeping track in this section.
40. The Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson (Hardcover: 336 pages)
41. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Hardcover: 693 pages)
42. By Your Side by Kasie West (eARC: 352 pages)
43. The Goal by Elle Kennedy (eARC: 350 pages)
    DNF's of the month 
    1. None.
    Total Pages Read This Month: 1,731 pages
    Total Pages Read This Year: 13,199 pages
    Total Books Read This Year: 43
    Total Books DNF'd This Year: 1

    Discussion Posts:
    ~*~What I've Been Watching~*~

    Broadway Shows:
    • I haven't seen any shows this month because life got in the way. *sigh*
    • Big Brother is over and I am kind of upset. I mean, yes, I am so happy that a girl won, but I think Paul deserved it more than Nicole.
    • RuPaul's All Stars has been happening and I LOVEEEEE it. They just need to give Alaska the crown already though.
    • Survivor has started and I am super fascinated by this whole Millenials v Gen X thing, but I think the millenials chosen definitely give some of us a bad rap. I mean, come on!
    • Big Brother: Over The Top has a terrible format and I gave up on it after episode one. Not a fan.
    • School has been so busy I haven't watched a single movie! I know, blasphemy.

    ~*~Reading Challenges~*~

    Fairytale Retelling Challenge:
    4/10 Completed
    • The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
    • Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige 
    • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
    • Beast by Brie Spangler
    Flights of Fantasy Challenge:
    19/30 Completed 
    • Remembrance by Meg Cabot
    • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
    • Perijee & Me by Ross Montgomery 
    • The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
    • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
    • Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi 
    • The Graces by Laure Eve
    • Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige 
    • The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid
    • Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
    • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
    • The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson 
    • Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley
    • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
    • Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
    • The Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson 
    • The Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson 
    • The Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson
    • Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
    Contemporary Reading Challenge:
    15/16 Completed
    • Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
    • When We Collided by Emery Lord
    • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell 
    • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman 
    • The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
    • 738 Days by Stacey Kade
    • The Deal by Elle Kennedy
    • The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
    • The Score by Elle Kennedy
    • Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer 
    • My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier 
    • Game On by Michelle Smith
    • Beast by Brie Spangler 
    • By Your Side by Kasie West
    • The Goal by Elle Kennedy
    Backlist Books Challenge:
    15/12 Completed - Challenge completed in August 2016
    • Edward II by Christopher Marlowe
    • King Henry IV Part 1 by William Shakespeare 
    • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
    • A Woman Killed with Kindness by Thomas Heywood
    • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
    • 'Tis Pity She's A Whore by John Ford
    • As You Like It by William Shakespeare
    • The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont
    • Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
    • The Deal by Elle Kennedy
    • The Mistake by Elle Kennedy 
    • Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
    • The Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson
    • The Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson
    • The Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson
    Contemporary Romance Challenge:
    7/6 Completed - Challenge completed in September 2016
    • 738 Days by Stacey Kade
    • The Deal by Elle Kennedy
    • The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
    • The Score by Elle Kennedy 
    • Game On by Michelle Smith 
    • By Your Side by Kasie West
    • The Goal by Elle Kennedy
    Finishing The Series Challenge:
    3/7 Completed
      • The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
      • The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson 
      • The Off-Campus Series by Elle Kennedy
        Do you have a monthly recap or thoughts on anything I'm reading/reviewing/watching? Share your thoughts below! Every comment is greatly appreciated! <3

        Guest Post: Stefanie Gaither, Author of Into the Abyss

        I am super excited to have Stefanie on the blog today, but before we get to the post, feast your eyes on this beautiful cover!


        Series: Fall the Shadows #2
        Publication Date: August 30, 2016
        Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
        Reading Level: Young Adult
        Pages: 352
        Violet has lost her memory, and her sense of self—but can she decide who she wants to be in time to save the world? Find out in this sequel to Falls the Shadow, which Kirkus Reviews called perfect “for fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games.

        Violet Benson used to know who she was: a dead girl’s clone, with a dead girl’s memories. But after Huxley’s attempt to take over the government left her memories and personality wiped, all she has left is a mission: help the CCA fight back against the rest of Huxley’s deadly clones that are still at large.

        But when a group of clones infiltrate CCA headquarters, Violet is blamed. Already unsure of where her loyalties should lie, Violet finds herself running away with an unlikely ally: Seth, Jaxon’s unpredictable foster brother. With Seth at her side, Violet begins to learn about a whole new side of her city’s history—and her own.

        But when she learns the shocking truth about cloning, Violet will have to make a choice—and it may be one that takes her away from everyone she ever loved.
        ~*~Stefanie's Thoughts About Characters~*~
        There’s that old saying when it comes to writing: Write what you know. And in a lot of ways, I took that advice when writing my debut novel, Falls the Shadow. Catelyn (the protagonist of that story) and I have a lot in common; from small things, like our love of theatre, to the big things, like personality traits and how we handled losing part of our family at a young age, and then watching that family rearrange itself in the days that followed. In my case, the rearranging was the addition of a regular stepsister (not a clone, as far as I know!)—but still, I felt I could relate to Catelyn’s situation because I had dealt with major loss and change the way she had. So it was relatively easy to get into her head, to understand where she was coming from with her decisions and actions, and then it was just a matter of translating them to the page. There weren’t a whole lot of surprises for me when writing her. And then I decided that book two had to be from Violet’s—the cloned sister’s—perspective, and things got considerably trickier.

        Not only is Violet a clone, but she’s a clone with a complicated history. A history of being unpredictable. A bit unstable. Then, to further complicate things, she wakes up at the beginning of Into the Abyss with no memory of that problematic history of hers still intact. She is essentially a blank slate. At first, all she has is her computer of a brain, which gives her facts and figures, but little else to help her fit in with all of the ‘normal’ humans she finds herself surrounded by.

        This ‘newly-awake Violet’ was probably the most difficult part to write, because she was detached, cold, and calculating in nearly every sense. Keeping this part of her character consistent (and believable, given her background), while also making her someone that readers would connect with, was no simple task. Heck, I had a hard time completely understanding her during the first few drafts—because for a long time she was to me who she was to Catelyn in Falls the Shadow: an interesting character who I loved very much, of course I did, but who was also incredibly frustrating and who I kind of wanted to smack sometimes.

        As the book progressed, though, a different side of Violet began to reveal itself. She had fears and needs and desires too, however deeply they might have been buried beneath her cold exterior, and digging them up was a process in and of itself—one I could almost feel her resisting, because that’s just the sort of character she is.

        Even as I managed to understand her better, though, she still kept me guessing all the way until the end about a lot of things. In general, it was a much different process than writing Falls because I had to stop and think about nearly every decision Violet made and try to understand it. I was constantly asking myself: Did I get it right? Was it believable from a clone’s perspective? Was it believable from the perspective of someone who was essentially starting a completely new, blank-slate life at age eighteen? Was it believable from the perspective and personality of the ‘Old Violet’, parts of whom were slowly resurfacing as she learned bits and pieces of her lost past? Then, of course, there were the decisions she made that just sort of wrote themselves—things I didn’t see coming, even though I knew how unpredictable she could be. 

        In the end, though, both protagonists were driven by those very human things I mentioned above. Fear, love, a desire to belong, that sort of thing—so, clone or human, I still found similar ways to connect to them, and hopefully readers will do the same!


        This post was so fascinating! Humans are obviously easy to relate to, but clones are a different arena. To build such a complex character that can be related to is an amazing feat! Thank you for stopping by, Stefanie!

        Blog Tour: Beast by Brie Spangler

        Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
        Publication Date: October 11, 2016
        Age Level: Young Adult
        Pages: 305 (ARC)
        Source: From Publisher For Review
        Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

        Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

        ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

        When I was first invited to be part of this tour, I jumped at the chance because I love me a good retelling. Diversify it with the LGBTQ community and I knew I'd enjoy this book. Happily, I admit that I am very well satisfied.

        What makes this book is the characterization. Let's start with Dylan. Dylan is a very intelligent young man that is abnormally large--so large that he may have gigantism. He's the school thug, rattling people who steal money from his best friend, who he's really only friends with because of the popularity that comes with it. Girls aren't interested in him because he's hairy and a bit scary, and he refuses to bow to stereotypes people like him are put into--like playing football (even though he secretly loves it). When he falls off his roof and breaks his leg, causing people to think he may have been attempting to take his own life, he is put into group therapy where he meets Jamie.

        Jamie is trans, though Dylan doesn't realize it for a long time. She enjoys taking pictures and finding the beauty in everything. She will always stand up for herself, even if those around her do not support her, and she just wants to be loved for who she is. Jamie is a beautiful character that is aware of the realities of being trans, but does not allow them to ruin the life that she is choosing to live.

        Dylan and Jamie embark on a very sweet romance that is quickly brought to a standstill when Dylan realizes Jamie is trans. He freaks out, and even seems slightly disgusted because he was so surprising. It was a terrible response, but it seemed natural. The beauty of their relationship is that Dylan respects Jamie as a person so much he grows to just accept Jamie as female and comes to terms with the fact that he is just a boy that likes a girl. This is something I respect so much.

        Along the way there is the exploration of crappy best friends--I am choosing not to go into a lot of detail because I hated Dylan's best friend and could rant about it for days. Transphobia, bullying, peer pressure, and learning to love yourself are also themes explored in the novel. It's all around really solid and enjoyable, my one complaint being that, at times, it seemed a bit too childish for high school students.

        Read this Beauty and the Beast retelling featuring a transgender main character. It is utterly enjoyable with endearing characters I want only the best for.

        4 stars


        FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.