You know who can spin a tale? Krystal freaking Wade. I just finished Charming: young adult Cinderella meets Saw.
I didn't know what to expect. I hadn'tYou know who can spin a tale? Krystal freaking Wade. I just finished Charming: young adult Cinderella meets Saw.
I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't realized it was horror, I'd never read anything by Krystal before, and I never would have imagined such twisted little thoughts turned around in her lovely brain. (I should have known better.)
She kept me guessing on all the key points, only giving me enough information to figure out what was going on the moment before she revealed it,
If you like psychological thrillers, horror, twisted fairy tale retellings, you want to pick up Charming....more
I normally don't rate or review the romance books I read because I just don't admit to them. They're fluffy pleasure, often not worth sharing. But TheI normally don't rate or review the romance books I read because I just don't admit to them. They're fluffy pleasure, often not worth sharing. But The Countess Conspiracy had me tearing UP. Rarely have I related to a character so intensely, and for it to come packaged up in a CLEARLY romance wrapping? Did not expect it.
This book hit so many candy elements for me -- a woman scientist, a woman claiming her place in intellectual society at a time when it's a male dominated world, a man who listens when a woman says no and yet continues to relentlessly pursue her while still somehow being 100% respectful of what she *actually* needs. (In case you're wondering, what she actually needs *isn't* a man who shows her a whole new world.)
Life has taught Violet Waterfield, Countess of Canterbury, that she is completely unlovable. Between her mother's rules for existing in society, her father's rejection of her and his subsequent suicide, and her deceased husband's disgust with her inability to bear him an heir, everything has taught her that she is inherently unacceptable. She is a brilliant scientist, but hides her work behind her best friend, Sebastian Malheur, because the world isn't interested in the quaint findings of a woman scientist.
But Sebastian is exhausted by living a lie, and when he tells Violet that he can no longer act as her proxy, she has to discover how to continue without the only thing she feels has given her life meaning.
What I loved about this book is how it built up both Violet and Sebastian's very real, very true-to-life issues. Violet believes she's unlovable. Sebastian believes he's never accomplished anything in his life. While I love the acceptance and care and respect these two give to each other (love, love, love), the points that had me tearing up were the times of self-recognition and acceptance: when they realized that the lies others had told them were just not true, and when their friends and families stepped up in ways that, in the new clearer vision Sebastian and Violet gain over the course of the novel, show that they are accepted and applauded and loved just the way they are.
I basically want to throw this book at all my friends.
Squeeing and Spoilers (view spoiler)[ The moment when Violet realizes that her sister Lily has never really wanted what's best for her and her super strict mother backs her 100%? LOVE.
The moment when Violet sees the love and support in friends' eyes that has been there all along, and she's only now able to see it? LOVE.
The moment when Sebastian and his brother have a REAL talk, and Sebastian learns that his brother doesn't actually disapprove of him, but has been jealous the whole time? LOVE. (hide spoiler)]...more