Friday, January 16, 2015

So, I've seen a few others doing early reviews for books pre-release by doing a less formal review and sorta just fangirling over the title prior to publication, which may be months away, depending on when they read the book. Jamie from The Perpetual Page-turner has a Save the Date feature, and Heather over at The Flyleaf Review showcases her pre-release thoughts in a Mark Your Calendars post. I have the same problem. I want to tell the world about some of the awesome books I read pre-publication, but I can't wait until just a few weeks before the release date to shout it from the rooftops. And sometimes there just aren't words for a book, ya know?

My dilemma led me to an awesome idea: Reviews in a GIFfy. I already (sometimes) post my reactions to a book via GIFs on Goodreads. (The one I did for World After was very well received.) But I wanted to make it a thing for those titles that I just can't wait until they appear on the ole reading schedule -- or for the ones that it's really hard to adequately express my feelings -- and I wanted to share my reactions via GIF with all of you. Essentially, these are going to be GIF-only reviews to tide you -- and me! -- over until I can expand on my thoughts in a legitimate review closer to the book's release date...if ever!

This week, I'm using this method to review the first book in Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses series. And epic first book is epic.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, book #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
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!

First and foremost: You can read the first chapter here. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Reasons to read: It's Sarah J. Maas.

The story: It's a Beauty and the BeastEast of the Sun and West of the Moon, and Tam Lin retelling, plus the genius of Sarah J. Maas all mixed into one amazing fantasy series. Or, ya know, the beginning of one.

The characters: Fierce. Loyal. Capable. Secretive. Vengeful. Murderous. I loved them all. Even the over-protective best mate grew to be one of my favorites.

The villain: I just love to loathe the evil queen in stories like this. Even if they have some tragic backstory. Everyone has one. Get over it.

The romance(s): From enemies to lovers, my very favorite kind. And so devoted once they break down each others' walls! *sigh* Not gonna lie, there is the potential for a second love interest in the sequel, what with that ending, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Like I said, devoted.

The swoons: Things get swoony in her Throne of Glass series, that much is true. But this is Sarah writing upper YA or NA fantasy, however you classify it. And. It. Is. HAWT. Gird your loins, ladies, it's about to get all kinds of steamy up in here!

Everything's coming full circle: Yep, just like in the original B&tB tale, everything has to remain a secret, but all will be revealed in due time. Although this is the first in a trilogy, it felt complete enough. Not that I'd ever stop at just this novel. I'm already planning a re-read. And not just for the steamy bits.

The quotability: Um, I read through this one so quickly that I neglected to flag much. So, I had to go back and find some. Which meant I pretty much just re-read the novel and yet I still want to read it again. But here's a sampling:
     "What would happen if I were to drink the water?"
     Tamlin straightened a bit -- then relaxed, as if glad to release that old sadness. "Legend claims you'd be happy until your last breath." He added, "Perhaps we both need a glass."
     "I don't think that entire pool would be enough for me," I said, and he laughed.
     "Two jokes in one day -- a miracle sent from the Cauldron," he said.
     "I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world."
     "This was such a lovely dream. I'd never slept so wonderfully before. So warm, nestled beside him. Calm. Faintly, echoing into my world of slumber, he spoke again. "You're exactly as I dreamed you'd be, too," he whispered, his breath caressing my ear, and then darkness swallowed everything."
     He knew what I meant, and shrugged. "Because when the legends get written, I didn't want to be remembered for standing on the sidelines. I want my future offspring to know that I was there, and that I fought against her at the end, even if I couldn't do anything useful."
In summation: There just aren't enough words for how much I loved this novel! Hands down my favorite B&tB retelling, and that's saying A LOT because Cruel Beauty was one of my favorite reads last year, and I've read it three times already. I can only imagine how many re-reads I'll go through of ACOTAR. And it's also now my favorite SJM book. All the feels. All the swoons. All the needs for the next book, pronto.

Full review closer to release date!

About the author:

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

Find Sarah:

Website | BlogTwitter | FacebookGoodreads | Pinterest

Previous posts in this feature:

Of Metal and Wishes
The Kiss of Deception
Between the Spark and the Burn
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
This Shattered World


  1. Ohh, this makes me sooooo excited!! I am DYING to get my hands on it but this pretty much tells me to read it immediately after receiving it, TBR pile be damned!

  2. Oh my, this makes me so eager to read this!!!n Something to look forward to this spring!

  3. Hahaha, this review makes me laugh! I keep hearing how **hot** this book is, so, I have to admit, I'm looking forward to that!

  4. Oh, wow! I had no idea this new series was written with a more mature audience in mind. Cool! I still haven't read Maas, but after reading this review, I have a strong desire to start here. The feels! The swoons! GAH! Look at me, I'm already flailing! haha. Geez, I can't wait for May! :)

    Thanks for getting me all worked up, Jen! ;)


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