10 August, 2017

{ ARC Review } Dare by Natalia Jaster

about the book }

Dare by Natalia Jaster
Foolish Kingdoms, book 2
Published July 28, 2017
e-ARC provided by the author
A Hotheaded Prisoner

They say she's mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she'll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.

The island is calling to her. And she she won't let anyone keep her from it.

Especially not him.

A Coldhearted Prince

They say he's cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.

By law, they're subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.

One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.

A Mythical Shipwreck

But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.

Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together . . . if they don't slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.

Something just as dangerous.


my review }

♫ ♫ ♫ 

Dare was a book far more different than I expected it to be and in all the best ways, I think.

Natalia Jaster really has a way with writing, but specifically, writing her characters, because I think they're always the strongest part of her books. I was impressed by this when I read Trick, and how she'd managed to do dual POV between a character like Poet and the Autumn Princess, Briar. Poet was a character like I've never met before and the way he spoke, the way he acted—it was amazing how she managed to be consistent with him, such a unique and different character.

In the follow up to Trick, Jaster does that again! While the main characters here, Jeryn and Flare, aren't quite like Poet, their personalities are complete and total opposites and Jaster wrote them splendidly. Exploring and developing them throughout the book was something I really enjoyed.

Admittedly, I was a bit worried at first. Whenever there's a cruel, cold prince involved, I'm  hesitant. It's so easy to have them be abusive and that ruins the character for me, even after the cruel prince begins to change. I found the way Jaster handled Jeryn to be mindful of that, but only later on... if that makes sense. I loved his character arc, definitely, but in the beginning, it was hard to feel anything positive for him. But I definitely enjoyed his point of view a lot!

Flare lives up to her name—she is fiery and feisty! It was strange to read a story where the character is mute and relies on mouthing words, but I thought it was well done. 

Getting used to Flare took some time. She was hotheaded and reckless and went into things without thinking of the consequences. One of the best parts of her development was witnessing her pay more mind instead of brashly rushing headfirst into things.

Also: they did this together! They made each other better and I just adored that.

The romance, to me, took forever. The buildup was amazing, definitely but oh my god! It makes sense, considering they hated each other, but this isn't a story that takes place in several days or weeks or months. So the buildup was a really long time. This is one of the bits that surprised me but I suppose it did make sense.

Another thing about the romance: while it was heated, it was also... a bit more mature than Trick. It was one of the few things I didn't like about that book, but Jaster did a phenomenal job with Jeryn and Flare! Their moments together were so cute!

The ending was another different aspect. Not saying anything about this other than that I enjoyed what she did and that it took me by surprise.

Overall, this book was a really enjoyable read! I loved the characters, the lush setting, the romance, and everything in between. Natalia Jaster is an amazing writer and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.


buy the book }

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about the author }

My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I stared out the window too much, daydreaming instead of paying attention in class. It’s true. Eventually I learned to focus more in school (and to love it), but the daydreaming never stopped. So after earning my master’s in creative writing and spending a bunch of fun years as a magazine editor, I became a storyteller.

I’m really into opposites attracting and romances between characters from different worlds. I like to dream up settings that are real yet mystical. I love when raw angst collides with lyrical beauty, sweetness escalates to hotness. And I definitely love treading the line between YA and NA.

I’m also a total fool for first-kiss scenes, fanfiction, libraries, and starry nights.

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