Published by Disney Hyperion (3.12.2013)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
I had been reeeaaally looking forward to this one. In fact, it was one of my most anticipated spring releases. And after seeing many gushing reviews from friends and blogs I follow, I was sure I’d love it. I’m sad to say that I was highly disappointed. It probably also didn’t help that I had just read it after an amazing book (Eternity Cure). Either way, my expectations were just set far too high.
My first issue: The prose. It was very sophomoric, and felt more like Middle Grade than Young Adult. Because I didn’t care for the writing style (and also because it was in 3rd person), I couldn’t connect to anything at all. I didn’t give a crap about the characters or the story. It’s not that this book was bad, but for me it was just meh. I probably won’t remember anything about it in a week.
My next issue: Instalove. Yep. This was where it started to really annoy me. It became so cliche that I seriously thought about DNFing it. And cheesy:
It wasn’t just his stunning features, or the tight muscles across his stomach she glimpsed when his shirt rode up. She knew better than to get mixed up with good-looking men, and he was undeniably that. But he was so much more. When he wasn’t being completely infuriating (and sometimes even when he was), he radiated joy like a beam of light. She caught just a tiny bit of warmth when she was with him.
Okay, maybe that wouldn’t have been quite so bad if I wasn’t already annoyed with the book. But my BFF was over and I read this out loud to her in my ‘cheesy romance narrator’ voice, and we were both getting a good laugh at the book’s expense.
Then, THEN, enter love triangle. Like it couldn’t get any worse. I do have to say, it didn’t last. Thankfully. But still! I was like UGH, are you kidding me right now?!
I do admit that a revelation at the end did surprise me, but I feel like it didn’t really make sense. Wouldn’t there have been some clue about that in the beginning other than ‘I don’t talk to my parents?’ It came out of nowhere and wasn’t exactly logical. Also, Kyra’s reaction to her mother was just plain ridiculous. Kyra treated her like she was evil and out to get her. Sure, she was a bit strict, but come on. It’s your mother for crying out loud! Kyra was just a bit too immature for me.
Even with all the complaints, I still didn’t hate it – probably because the story line was actually good. And I have to grudgingly admit that there were a couple times I giggled. This book could have had great potential, but the delivery was lacking for me. If you could take away the cheesy, cliched romance and add more character growth, I might have really enjoyed this one. But as it was, there was a lot of sighing and eye rolling going on, and it irritated me too much in the beginning to give it a higher rating.
Would I recommend it? Only to a much younger audience.
Writing style: 1/5
Overall rating: 2/5