Withering Rose by Kaitlyn Davis

Withering Rose

Author: Kaitlyn Davis

Genre: Romance, Retellings, Fantasy, YA

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: What if Beauty was cursed, and the Beast was the only one who could save her? Don’t miss WITHERING ROSE, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Beauty & The Beast.

“As the heat finally disappeared, I felt the bloom blossom in the very core of my soul, a rose just like my name–a ticking clock hidden behind a façade of beauty. From that moment on, my life would become a countdown, and all I could do was wait and watch as the petals of time slowly started to fall.”

Omorose Bouchene has a secret–magic. There’s only one problem. At the age of seven, an earthquake struck, catapulting her into a new world. A land made of skyscrapers and cell phones. Fast cars and fluorescent lights. A land where magic isn’t supposed to exist and anyone who wields it is the enemy.

But after ten years of hiding, she’s desperate to find a place where she can be free. Because all magic comes with a curse, and her curse is time–every ounce of power she uses strips days off of her life. The clock is winding down, and the only option left is to escape to the realm of the Beast. But the king of monsters isn’t what he seems. And the more Omorose opens her heart, the more she comes to realize that the only person she may need to fear is herself.

*This is the second book in Once Upon A Curse, a series of interconnected stand-alone novels all set in the same fantasy universe.

overall feelings copy

I don’t know how to quite describe Withering Rose. Let me first start off by saying that it’s the second book in the series, but you don’t have to read the first book since the stories are standalone, but interconnected. 

Alright, so when I saw that Withering Rose was available on Netgalley, I wanted to read it so, so badly. The synopsis is what won me over. I’ve read a couple of Beauty and The Beast retellings and I was in the mood to read another one. I was hoping that Withering Rose was going to be the “one”. Oh, I was wrong.

I hated it. I’ve been going through a reading slump, and this book did not help whatsoever. I can’t believe I actually managed to finish reading it, because it felt like I was reading this book for months. So, the story begins with a huge earthquake as Omorose and her father are traveling to another kingdom. They find themselves transported to another world because of the earthquake, in a world without magic. Omorose is forced to keep her powers hidden because the people of her new world exterminate magical beings. Modern earth hates anything magical. In a way, present day earth can be viewed as a dystopian society in the eyes of Omorose and her father.

Her father has to work for the government in order for his and Omorose’s survival. As years go by, Omorose feels caged because she cannot use her powers. Her father forbids her from using her magic because he wants to protect her. He doesn’t want his daughter to be slaughter, but Omorose feels that by hiding her magic, she is hiding herself. Her classmates see her as the weird girl, and she hates living a second life of pretending to be someone she is not. She decides it is best to leave her father and pursue the beast. (It’s not like her father has been protecting her for years from their enemies.) The beast is a magical being that lives deep in the forest. The government has been trying to capture the beast and end magic, but his whereabouts are unknown.

The world building sucked. Completely sucked. There is no explanation on how two worlds ended up merging. It happens in the span of one chapter, the very first chapter may I add. There is no world building for Omorose’s home world. As the reader, you are left wondering what kind of world did she come from. I thought of a medieval setting, but that’s just me. I feel that if her world was based on the past, let’s say the 5th century, and somehow it merged to modern day earth, it would have been a better explanation. Anyways, the kingdoms of Omorose’s home world get transported onto modern day earth, and merge with cities. The government has been fighting off the magical users. There is no reason why there is discrimination. As you reader, you are left to assume that the present day earth is very advanced when it comes to the technology.

As for the characters, I didn’t love them. I had no attachments to the protagonist, love interest, nor secondary characters. Omorose was conflicting for me because she describes herself as strong, but honestly, she was weak for me. Her magical ability is cool. She is able to grow flowers, and every time she uses her magic, it takes a toll on her body. You would think that Omorose would be thankful for being able to survive on earth. Honestly, he father was protecting her life by forbidding her magic, but no. Unnecessary angst. Now moving on to the beast, he’s a shape-shifter and is a prince. He is angry and brooding, and isn’t loveable. Omorose and her relationship with the Beast happened instantly. At first, Omorose is completely terrified of the Beast, and he does nothing to prove her otherwise. And then, they instantly fall in love. I wasn’t a huge fan of their romance. 

After finishing Withering Rose, I won’t pick up the other books in the series. I liked the concept, but the execution wasn’t the best. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book. A frustrating Beauty and the Beast retelling is not what I needed. I can recommend picking up A Court of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas or Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️

A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Book Review

I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Commentary: I really felt the book was a bit overrated, it wasn’t necessarily bad nor my favorite. I kept seeing so much love for this book. I really tried to love it, but I felt it was okay.

It’s a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Tamlin was the hot fairy who can turn into a wolf That was my problem with the book. Sure Tamlin was cursed, but he was handsome, and not a beast. (一。一;;)

The book was a bit boring during the first half. It felt more like a Cinderella story because Feyre had to do everything for her family and her sisters were very ungrateful, especially Nesta. I really felt sorry for the protagonist because without her, her family would have died. I just hated how her family didn’t appreciate Feyre risking her life in the woods. Anyways, she kills a wolf who happens to be a faerie and is forced to live with the fae due to the Treaty between faeries and humans. The action scenes were amazing.

The first half of the book, I did not like and then, when I got to the second half, that’s when everything became exciting. There was a reason why the Spring Court had masks on their face. There was a reason why Tamlin tried so hard to make Feyre fall in love with him. Feyre risked her life to save Tamlin and the Spring Court by going through three difficult trials and the ending didn’t end in a cliffhanger. It ended on a happier note.

I really hated Amarantha. What a villain. She seemed unstoppable too, and made life worse for Tamlin and Feyre. I loved that Feyre was ready to fight and prove her love was real. I really liked Tamlin and Lucien, they were great characters. I really like Tamlin and Feyre together, they had chemistry. Overall, those two are perfect together. There were some steamy scenes as well that made me blush. Tamlin did all he could to keep Feyre safe. I was satisfied with them, but I also feel that Rhysand and Feyre have chemistry as well. I didn’t like Rhysand at first, near the end I loved him. He’s sassy and manipulative, and overall awesome. I felt he was more of the beast than Tamlin. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second book. Although, I would have preferred it being a stand alone, there is still much more the author can write about. Lastly, I wonder what kind of power Feyre now has since she is a faerie. (˃̴̀ᄇॢ˂̴́ ∗)

Would I recommend this book? It’s hard to say. It was only entertaining near the ending. Would you continue reading the series? Yes.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️(3.5) ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen: Book Review

“Because you can’t go around breaking curses willy-nilly. It doesn’t work like that Curses are strict There are rules to follow and conditions to meet. That’s the beauty of them. And why they cannot be broken.” – Alan

Goodreads Synopsis: Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

Commentary: Reading fairy tale adaptations are my favorites. I picked this book up because the plot was very interesting since the girl is the beast and she’s trying to remove her curse. I thought it was going to be a young adult novel, and a bit more romantic. This novel is really bittersweet. First of all, the curse is a bit confusing for me. The males in her family become beasts while the females become birds, and Sarah becomes a beast. I thought she would have became a bird like her grandmother and mother, not a beast. Not that I have a problem with Sarah being a beast, but one would assume she would become a bird. Yes, it’s true that the protagonist develops feelings for Alan, a beastkeeper, but romance does not play a huge role in reversing the curse. I loved how true love’s kiss would break the curse. Sarah had to discover how to change back by discovering her family’s secret. I felt really sorry for Sarah, her family sucked. Her mother left her, her father left her, and her grandparents love her. I didn’t feel any emotional connection towards any of her family members. They were really selfish. Now, the curse was placed on her family because of bitterness and jealousy. Sarah was the only sane member of her family. Her grandmothers were reluctant to share any information on the curse. The curse could have been lifted if her witch grandmothers would have talked instead of being angry with each other. Sarah is the only character to mature, and I liked her journey to become human. I also liked how Alan and Sarah chose to become friends. This story is not your typical happily ever after and it was far more different than I imagined. It’s a fast read, but not as entertaining as I thought it would be. Would I recommend it? Yes, I fell in love with the author’s writing style and though the ending was bittersweet, it felt a bit more realistic than a happy ending.

Quotes:

“You can’t make someone fall in love with you…and that is where the storytellers write their own sugary versions of the truth. A pack of lies until they reach ‘The End.’ But no story ever comes to an end, at least not one so neat. There are vioices silenced, characters erased at the storyteller’s whim.”

“People fall out of love slower than they fall in, to be sure, but there’s the story no one wants to tell. It’s dull. Boring. The good ones don’t always win. Nothing lasts forever.”

“It was love that cursed, and love that saved.”

“The people who should have loved her hadn’t; her enemies wore smiles, and her family, snarls.”

“You told me yourself that curses always go in circles. I am choosing to step out of the circle. Maybe I can’t break it, but I can refuse to be a part of it, to step away from revenge and jealousy…I can do what you couldn’t. I can forgive.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

La belle et la bête (2014): Movie Review

*Minor Spoilers*

I love fairy tales so much! I haven’t watched many fairy tale adaptations besides the Disney movies. I loved watching Beauty and the Beast, and when I heard there was going to be a live action adaptation for it, I was beyond excited. Now, I stumbled upon this movie when searching for Beauty and the Beast. I saw the trailer and it looked amazing. Luckily, the movie was available online with subtitles. La belle et la bête was beyond beautiful. I loved the ost, the characters, and the scenery was beyond gorgeous. The ruined castle was absolutely stunning. This film has two timelines which is the present and the Beast’s past. When Belle dreams, she is able to catch glimpses of the Beast’s past life. I really liked the Beast’s backstory, it was very unfortunate what happened to him and his dead wife. The Beast wasn’t portrayed as vain prince, but he was a ruler who was obsessed with hunting. His love of the hunt eventually brought his downfall. I found Belle to be quite sassy and very curious. I felt that there should have been a bit more romantic scenes between the protagonists (minor complaint). Nonetheless, the dresses that Belle wore were gorgeous.

Look at these beautiful scenes. I cannot get over how amazing the scenery was.

La-Belle-Et-La-Bete-2014-image-la-belle-et-la-bete-2014-36214440-245-136tumblr_myual1jIIw1qzxeqqo1_250tumblr_n0068k7mhx1qal0zgo10_r1_250tumblr_mzqhucrQtv1s103i9o3_r3_250tumblr_mx8yy3MSFh1qk7vmno9_500

I loved how magical this film was. There was a bit of nudity, but I didn’t feel it was explicit at all. It was such an enjoyable film to watch. Lastly, the film is available to watch on YouTube! For anyone who is interested in watching it, I will post the links down below. I highly recommend this film!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trailer: 

Film: