Book Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

If you’re looking for a kick-ass, diverse and empowering fantasy/historical fiction book to read - look no further. And I Darken by Kiersten White was a refreshing read in the midst of books I’ve read recently.

It follows the story of Lada and her brother Radu whoa re two very different characters. Lada is ugly, mean, strong and follows her beliefs without any doubt whereas Radu is gentle, caring, emotional and open to the world around him. As the reader you follow them from birth to adulthood and their journey along the way. Worst of all when their father leaves them in an enemies city as collateral damage where they have to fend for themselves.

And the journey is a rollercoaster, I’ll tell you that. These realistic characters find themselves in moments of despair, heartbreak and so much more. Especially once Mehmed comes into the story, bettering and complicating their lives. He’s the Sultan’s son and someone who should be the enemy to Lada and Radu but they find themselves friends.

It’s a gender swapped Vlad the Impaler. Lada the impaler and although I loved, loved, love this unique tale there was always something that felt a little…disappointing. I don’t know how to word it…It felt like as the book came close to it’s climax in the plot it just never reached the peak?

Either way, this book is filled with plot twists, little cinnamon rolls and as always, side characters that own my heart. Although, the main characters do too. The romance for me wasn’t the greatest thing in the world but hey, we can’t have everything, right?! This book was pretty great in every other way.

All in all, 4.5 stars out 5!

I can hardly believe I’m typing this, but …

Four stars!!!

My True Love Gave to Me received its FOURTH *starred* review. Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and now Booklist:

“Holiday canoodling stories by twelve of the top YA authors? It’s a Christmas miracle! Not since 2008’s Let It Snow … has a compendium of wintry love stories given readers such reason to celebrate. Using her trademark sparkling dialogue, Rainbow Rowell rings in an amorous New Year’s between old pals. Matt De La Peña presents a house-sitter hookup with unlikely results. Jenny Han writes tales of woe and lust between Santa’s adopted daughter and her coworking elves. Stephanie Perkins pairs a tree-lot employee with a shopper who pines for much more. David Levithan’s Jewish St. Nick loves his boyfriend enough to (reluctantly) spread some X-mas magic. Holly Black’s hot Christmas Krampus crashes a swinging holiday soiree. Kiersten White whips up a delicious romance in a struggling Yule-themed diner. And several other big-name writers—Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Laini Taylor—craft cozy, clever, totally PG tales of good tidings. This is the substantive stuff of dream stockings: a rollicking, blush-inducing, memorable holiday collection of breezy, bite-sized stories perfect a snug evening next to the fire.”

This anthology will be available for purchase on October 14th!

Mark it to-read on Goodreads. Pre-order it from your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

I didn’t fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we’d choose anyway. And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.
—  The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White