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(Four Sisters #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,496 ratings  ·  457 reviews
I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has cho
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Greenwillow
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Popular Answered Questions
Author-ization The simple answer is: Yes, there is romance. Just not in a sexual or explicit nature like a lot of other books. Though it's subtle at the beginning of…moreThe simple answer is: Yes, there is romance. Just not in a sexual or explicit nature like a lot of other books. Though it's subtle at the beginning of the book, romance and getting married is mentioned quiet a lot, especially since the character struggles with her heart (literally, you'll see if you read this).
Yes, there IS romance, just nothing explicit or "anything else". ;D
Hope this helps!(less)
Kendall Yes, book 2 has an expected publication date of 2016. The book did not tie up/have any kind of conclusion that some series books do per book. It flows…moreYes, book 2 has an expected publication date of 2016. The book did not tie up/have any kind of conclusion that some series books do per book. It flows continuously into the next book.(less)

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Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Stray by Elissa Sussman
Book One of the Four Sisters series
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dre
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
Want to win some super cute STRAY swag? Enter our international giveaway!

 photo StraybyElissaSussman_zps688becef.png

Every now and then, I surprise myself by reading something I wouldn't normally pick up (based on the cover, yes. Cover snob, right here!) and find that I've discovered a gem. That's how Stray was for me. The cover's a bit dull, and while the synopsis is interesting, it wouldn't be something I'd have on my must read immediately! list. It's been getting a few mediocre ratings and reviews as well.

Boy, was I pleased to
2 stars

*sigh* Stray is yet another example of a first book in a series that barely scratches the surface and is way underdeveloped in hopes of getting people on the hook for the next installments. When I wasn't confused about the messy plot and world building, I was mostly just... bored.

Stray follows the story of Aislynn, a princess growing up in a world where she is pressured, above all else, to be pure. Women are born with magic (and seen as almost instinctively evil), but are forbidden to use
Taylor Knight
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I LOVED that Stray is an original fairy tale. I loved Aislynn and I loved the writing. I loved this book.
I did feel like at times I was so caught up in how much I loved the concept, that I forgot to be critical. It was really great that I was so caught up in the story but I think that the concept carried me though most of the book. It was pretty slow at times and even a little boring. I didn't notice while I was reading but looking back, it was pretty slow in the middle.
I'm really curious to s
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
In a misogynistic world where women’s natural magic has branded them dangerous, stupid, and in need of controlling constant guidance, Aislynn is living the dream: she’s a princess in a fairytale world complete with fairy godmothers, handsome princes, and happily ever afters. Except that when Aislynn accidentally uses her natural magic to defend herself, she’s Redirected onto the fairy godmother Path, sent to a new Academy, and must serve another princess.

Stray is an interesting book. It’s been b
Robin & Fo
Apr 30, 2014 marked it as to-read
"Princess Aislynn knows all about the curse. It's magic is a part of her, like her awkward nose and thin fingers."

Wait... what?
I don't know how to visualize an 'awkward nose'...

Anyway, the synopis sounds quite interesting!
And it's good the fairy godmothers are finally portayed differently!

Because when we think of a fairy godmother we probably all think about

Or this one....

So, now we'll just wait untill October.. oh well..
Nasty Lady MJ
Feb 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who have a lot more patience and alcohol tolerance than moi
Recommended to Nasty Lady MJ by: No One-I was warned
To see review with gifs click here.

Once upon a time, I would’ve forced myself to finish if not at least read most of Stray. But I’ve grown up a lot since I started regularly blogging (circa 2012). And I’ve grown fed up with books like Stray.

I’m going to be frank, this book should’ve never seen the light of day from an agent’s slush pile let alone a publishing house.

It’s that bad.

However, it’s a perfect book to talk about the craft and some common mistakes in writing. So, I think I can do a somew
Anatea Oroz
I haven't read much fairy tale like books, if you don't count the ones I read as a child. Actually, I'm pretty sure I haven't read any. I don't know why I picked up Stray, but I guess I just wanted to bring a little diversity into my reading, and with the beautiful cover that Stray has, I ended up reading it. I am surprised by how much I enjoyed Stray. It's a kind of fairy tale interlaced with a really great world-building and fantasy elements & a cute and subtle romance.

Aislynn is currently at
Sara Raasch
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ooo this sounds like the YA version of Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms! YES PLEASE. ...more
You know it's a good book when you stay up until 4am to finish it.

The concept of fairy godmother was unique in Stray, in that the fairy godmothers were rejected royals who had messed up somehow by either using too much magic or being unable to get married by the end of their 16th year. Then, they had to help other royals as an example to the royals to not screw up like them.

The protagonist, Aislynn, was somewhat bland to me in the beginning because you could already tell that she was ignorant i
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
I started with a 3/3.5 rating after finishing, but then I wrote my review and found out I didn't like it that much after all. Confusing book!

Let me say this right away: this book isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s slow-paced and character- driven, the world-building needs more work and you have to deal with old, traditional ways that suck. I liked it, but there were moments I wanted more. This book feels more like a step-up for the real story, but my ove
Tanja (Tanychy)
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-galleys
Review also posted Ja čitam, a ti?

We discussed this a great deal in the past so I guess that sadly I got another book to put on my "I like the idea but not the characters or vice versa" shelf, as Stray was just that. It gave me an insight into a really interesting and magical world but at the same time it gave me a main character I couldn't connect with.

Stray takes you to another world, which has some elements you are familiar with but still combines them in the interesting manner and with that
Gray Cox
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
She didn't want to be new. She wanted to be who she was. (pg. 258).

When I picked up this book I didn't bother to read the blurb, it was one of those impulsive moments at my library. So when I got home and read the blurb I inwardly groaned, not another book based off The Golden Thread! Not another purity metaphor story!

But nevertheless, I gave this book a chance, and boy, am I glad I did!

It was really good. I really enjoyed it! Stray is set in your typical fairytale/fantasy setting, but yet
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
When I saw that this was a fairy tale retelling and that this author worked on Disney's Tangled, I immediately added it to my TBR. I love Tangled with a passion that rivals most little kids. And I'm such a sucker for anything fairy tale related, I just binge-watched 3 1/2 seasons of Once Upon a Time in like 2 weeks. I had no idea that this was about fairy godmother's until I read Nick's review, and that only made me want to read it more because I don't think I've ever read a story about fairy go ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jenna Goodall
What a breath of fairytale fresh air! A riveting account of ever after as seen through princess who may be redirected to a role of fairy godmothers. I absolutely adore fairy-tale re-tellings. I never get tired of reading a book that enraptures me in its fracture retelling finery. I’m always ready to read a good (or watch) a good dose of ‘Ever After’


This book’s scope of retellings focused on murky characters such as ‘fairy godmothers.’ Stray, in essence, was a wondrous bibbidi bobbidi boo of YA
Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! I would have given this a 5 but the beginning was pretty slow. But once the story got going I was so wrapped up in Aislynn's story! I do wish there had been a bit more romance buy I hope that will be remedied I'm book 2! I loved Thackary! Oooh and I loved that Elissa added the bookbinder bread recipe at the end! ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Stray is an enchanting original fairy tale that will completely captivate you. It surprisingly covers a lot of realistic issues in a fun and interesting way. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like this before!

Opening Sentence: Aislynn’s hands were bleeding.

The Review:

Princess Aislynn has never really felt like she was good enough. She is a princess so she figured she would grow up to be graceful, beautiful, and the curse w
Sarah Louise
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stray has a very unique fairy tale quality of its own, while also incorporating fun, subtle connections to other fairy tales that we know and love. In the kingdom where Princess Aislynn resides, the use magic is forbidden. That is, unless you are a fairy godmother. Becoming a fairy godmother is not an aspiration to hold, however.
"Isn't it your responsibility to make sure that the tea remains hot? Isn't that your very purpose? Does The Path not say 'Give me a fairy godmother, so I may not wi
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
The audiobook version of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I love revisiting old fairy tales that are given a refreshing new take. But while Stray was unique, it wasn't like any of the fairy tales I've read before. It does focus on princesses and fairy godmothers and evil queens...but in the most confusing mash-up ever.

"The Path" just seemed like a regimented way for a young pri
nick (the infinite limits of love)
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc

I had no idea that Stray was about fairy godmothers before I started it, so finding out was a nice surprise. I can't say I completely loved this book. It had some issues that prevented me from doing so, but I still thought the world Stray was set in was interesting and I'm curious to find out more about it in the subsequent books.

Aislynn as a heroine was interesting, but I can't say she was the kind of character who would stand out to me. She had this fierceness to her that I thoroughly en
May 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-galley
I wish I loved this. But mostly it's was me waiting and waiting and then waiting some more for the story to move beyond all the hating on what certain women could do plus a lot of asking why that was the case. There are glimpses into men and what they could do, as well as a hazy history of four sisters and interpretations of what they've come to, and in line with that- how their society is arranged:

Royals with power on one hand, the women in it bestowed with the same, only to be limited by so m
Sarah Elizabeth
3.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
16-year-old Princess Aislynn needs to find a husband, but she can only do this if she is able to keep her magic in check. Unfortunately this is difficult for Aislynn, and soon she finds herself in trouble, and ‘redirected’ (expelled).
Can Aislynn cope with her new position? And will she ever learn to control her magic?

This was an interesting story, with a fairy-tale
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I always have a heart for fairytales so I definitely wanted to give this book a try. This story is quite unique and gives the reader a story to look forward to.

Plot: This is about a girl who has magic, yet this magic is restricted. I found that in the beginning of the story the plot moved slowly. It wasn’t until the middle did it finally start to catch up. Things moved along nicely with the plot line, giving the reader more insight on magic, fairy godmothers and the world that Aislynn lives in.

This is the tale of Aislynn who is different from all the other girls at her academy. She was raised to follow her Path and be a good little girl. She was born in a time where women had magic but had to suppress it and devote their lives to becoming either a wife or a godmother.

I actually thought the plot was interesting but then the story dragged and I didn't like the romance and the foolishness of the main character. I had so many questions left unanswered and felt disenchanted with the book i
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, ebook, ya-fantasy
I just couldn't get into this one. The plot felt like it was thrown together and there were certain points that didn't have a reason for being there other than they seemed like a good idea at the time. The wolf although cool served no purpose. The world building felt incomplete. Just when I thought I had a handle on the world, the rules changed. Suddenly, Aislynn is able to be a princess again. I just felt lost through most of the book. ...more
Taylor (Taylicious Reads)
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
This and other reviews can be found on my site: My Friends Are Fiction

The Story:
I had incredibly high expectations and hopes for Stray. After reading the summary I knew I had to read this one sooner than later so was thrilled to receive the print ARC. Upon reading it though, I started to wonder if this book was going to be for me. The writing wasn’t bad, but because it was based on fairy tales some of the references seemed heavy handed. People in this world have saying like, “thank the glass s
Formal review written for WASHYARG (Washington Young Adult Review Group):

Seemingly inspired in equal parts by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and traditional fairy tales, Stray is the story of 16-year-old Aislynn, a princess living in an extremely misogynistic society. Women are born with magic, but are taught to repress it from the time it appears (usually around puberty). Girls must be married by the time they turn 17 so their husband can watch over them and make sure they do not stray f
Do you know what a warm bath book is? It is just what it sounds like. You step in and with a barely caught breath you are enveloped in it. You feel yourself floating. You are almost falling as your whole being is caught up in it. You don’t care about anything else. It’s as if you’ve always been there. It’s like that moment right before falling asleep when your mind is just beginning to tread the edges of a dream. And you find yourself thinking you could stay there, right there forever.

I’m glad i
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Before Stray was added to my Sadie Hawkins queue, I’d mostly made up my mind to skip it. See, my lovely friend Debby (Snuggly Oranges) read it and let’s just say that she didn’t care for it. Wait, no, that’s not strong enough. She pretty much disliked everything about it. Obviously, I trust Debby. We agree on a lot of things. Her not liking Stray tells me that it’s not a shippy book, which was accurate by the way. Perhaps because
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