Book Reviews Reviews and Recommendations

#FridayReads – June 25th, 2021

2 reviews for the price of one!

Today we’re going to talk about the two ARCs that I owe BookSirens a review for. I had 90 days to read The Elements of the Crown and I really took advantage of that. To the point that I think I’ve read and reviewed 2 other books since receiving it. There’s No Such Thing As The Perfect Guy came out earlier this year, but I can’t say I was too interested in it before I came across it on BookSirens. Neither of these reviews felt like they were long enough for their own post, so I felt it was best to post them together.

In Kay L Moody’s The Elements of the Crown, Talise and Aaden have spent their whole lives training to be Master Shapers, but neither are prepared for what that really means for them or their country, Kamdaria.

This novel is actually four novellas repackaged as one, which actually made it better because I don’t think that I would have continued if I had read them all separately. We spend the most time in Talise’s POV, so we get to know her the best. 

I’m gonna be honest, this is a spoilers post. The book has technically been out for two years, and I know that’s not much time for readers, but this one is a bit too glaring in my opinion.  

The Elements of the Crown employs the use of the Hidden Prince(ss) trope. It took me until I was about halfway through the book to realize that that was what was going on, but my spidey sense were tingling from the beginning. If children from where Talise was from weren’t supposed to learn how to read, how did Talise know how to read and write? 

Also Talise’s distrust of Aiden is super out of pocket until the reveal, but you could always chock it up to teenagers being teenagers. That being said, the build up of their attraction is cute except for those parts. 

Honestly, I’ve left YA Fantasy alone for the longest because I feel like I’m too old for it and I like my characters to have sex. However this was such a fun story that I will definitely be continuing the series. 

I think that the author was trying to say that Aaden was black, but I wasn’t too sure of that. I definitely got the idea that Aaden was cute and had a goatee, but the skin comments had me thinking he was considerably darker-skinned than Talise so probably black. I couldn’t tell you anything about Talise’s beyond the fact that she was short-haired. This author definitely wasn’t here for descriptive features. 

I guess one another thing about this story is that you get the idea that shaping is the same as bending, like in Avatar: The Last Airbender. There’s honestly no two ways about it, but there’s only so many ways you can employ elemental magic so we’re going to let this author make it. 

The Elements of the Crown was a surprisingly fun story that makes me consider diving back into fantasy again. I’d recommend it to the YA Fantasy babes who just want something new to read. It’s definitely worth a shot.

You wanna talk about a book that should have been promising, but doesn’t feel like anything could help it? 

In Tieste Williams’ There’s No Such Thing As The Perfect Guy, Kaley bites off way more than she could chew when she moves into a supposedly haunted house and finds a magical book. And while the book seems to grant her every desires, Kaley finds that things aren’t always what they seem. 

My immediate react was to give this book 2 stars, and part of me wants to give it 3, but I think a 2 works here. Like it wasn’t the best story, but there were no mechanical errors and the story made as much sense as it could have considering the circumstances. It felt like it wanted to have a sequel, but I doubt it’d be any better. 

I liked the lesson of the story though. Kaley had this list of all that she wanted in a guy, and it seemed nice, but she still couldn’t reconcile the realities of the situation she had created. The relationship was doomed from the beginning. 

I hated that the author didn’t lean into the Mexican vampire bats. Or why a random house in Virginia had an ancient Egyptian book of spells. There was a good bit of things that could have been better fleshed out but weren’t, and it always pains me when a book is grammatically fine but the story falls flat. 

I don’t know who failed who here, and I’m not going to point any fingers. Just know that the audience for this wasn’t me, and I’m not sure who I would recommend it to. Still, I wish the author blessings and creativity on her next book, because the idea for this one wasn’t bad. 

If you would like to keep up with me and my adventures in appreciating the many different types of literature, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you just want to chat with me about this particular novel, make sure to hit me up in the comment section.

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