Landry Park by Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Published by Dial (2.4.2014)
eARC, 384 pages
Source: For Tour
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In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won’t allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty – her family and the estate she loves dearly – and desire.
I didn’t realize going into this that it would have a very historical feel to it. I despise anything historical, and after 10%, I already knew that this book wasn’t for me. Just those 30 pages were excruciating because I was bored to tears. There was waaaay too much politics and….historical crap? Ha, I don’t even know how else to describe it. Either way, too boring for me!
I may try again far, far down the road when there’s nothing better (probably not). Who knows.
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published by Balzer + Bray (1.28.2014)
eARC, 352 pages
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Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
This was such a disappointment! I was really looking forward to this one because it’s a Beauty & the Beast retelling, and I loooove Beauty & the Beast. But alas, it was not to be. The only reason it can be even considered a retelling is because Nyx is trapped against her will. And there’s a mirror and library Yes, her captor was monstrous because he was a demon, but he was beautiful physically. Why am I not surprised?
I had a major problem following the world building. In the beginning there was a big info dump, and it was too much at once so it didn’t even stick. I struggled to understand the society and the terms, and it didn’t really make sense to me. The splash of mythology was cool I guess, but it didn’t really fit with the story. I feel like someone ate a soup of fairy tale retelling, science fiction, high fantasy, dystopian, and mythology, and vomited it onto the pages.
I did think Shade was cool. He was literally the demon’s shadow, but was alive! There were a few small things that I found kind of interesting, but overall I was extremely bored. I was already struggling with the book because of the slow pacing, but what made me ultimately give up was: Not only was there a love triangle, but both sides of the love triangle were based off of instalove. By 50%, Nyx not only thought she loved Shade (who by the way, she had spent time with twice) but Ignifex as well. It was ridiculous! And she kept bouncing back and forth between them and obsessing over kissing both of them.
Last night I had kissed Shade. Last night he had as good as said that he loved me, and I had thought I loved him in return. When I thought of him – his rare smiles, his gentle kindness, the peace in his touch – I still wanted him.
I rolled over and buried my face in the pillow. I could almost feel the heat of Ignifex’s body beneath mine. I wanted him too.
What kind of woman was I?
A skank. You are a skank. And also, IT’S NOT LOVE. YOU BARELY KNOW HIM. And if you truly
loved him, you wouldn’t be messing around with another man! SKANK.
**And let me clarify: View Spoiler »I skimmed to the end and yes, I know that Ignifex and Shade are the same person. But she didn’t know that at the time, so…yep. To me that’s skanky. *shrugs* « Hide Spoiler
It only went downhill from there. Several more times she said the L word in regards to Shade (EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T REALLY KNOW EACH OTHER), and it just annoyed the shit out of me.
I hated Nyx. I liked her at first because she was fiesty, but her personality wasn’t consistent. Then she just started getting on my nerves, acting petulant and hypocritical. In one scene, she was all worrying about having sex with Ignifex (by the way, there was a LOT of that) – ‘the thought of letting him possess me entirely was still terrifying’ – then literally the same page when he turns her down she slaps him! You’re slapping him because he’s not going to rape you? Really?!
I usually love Stockholm Syndrome stories, but this one was extremely inconsistent. It was like mental whiplash, always hot and cold! One minute Nyx was lusting after her captor, the next she was trying to kill him. It was ridiculous!
The last straw for this one was when Ignifex says “You know what you are, and what you deserve. You lie to me but not to yourself. That’s why I love you.” (at 59%). Then Nyx says:
I wanted to hit him again. I wanted to cry. Most of all, I wanted to forget my mission and lose myself in the embrace of the one person who had ever seen my heart and claimed to love me after.
So because you tried to kill him, he’s seen your heart? UGH. Again, they didn’t actually know each other. They hadn’t had any real conversation and barely any interaction (other than Nyx trying to kill him). *rips out hair*
That was just all I could take! I skipped to the end and tried to read the ending but couldn’t make sense of it. It didn’t sound even remotely interesting, so I think I’m good on this one!
Uh oh. I don’t know much of anything about Landry Park but…I’ve definitely been seeing mixed reviews for Cruel Beauty. Although everyone does seem to agree that the beginning is a huge, confusing info-dump, which has me nervous. I just skimmed over your thoughts on the romance, since I still plan to read it and don’t want to get spoiled. But I do generally like love triangles, insta-lovey ones…not so much.
The love triangle is kind of not a love triangle after a while, but there is a pretty bad case of instalove sadly. But the fact that I couldn’t understand the world was what really brought this down for me. I was already bored and uninterested in the world, and the bad romance was what finally killed it =/
I FEEL HEARTBROKEN. *two of my favorite books*
I love historical so that wasn’t an issue for me for Landry Park ;P
I totally see your points for Cruel Beauty BUT THE ATMOSPHERE was brilliant, in my opinion. I ABSOLUTELY adored CB. But to each her own!
Oh no I’m sad Cruel Beauty wasn’t a favorite! It’s one I’d really like to read because I, too, looove Beauty and the Beast! I might give it a try still… but it sounds a bit weird now… o.O and haha I cracked up at “A skank. You are a skank.” Ha! XD
I think that reading the complete book would have changed your look on the skank part around Nyx ;) Just saying. Like you saw from my review, I absolutely LOVED the book and I’m sad you didn’t like it. I think it really is a matter of: you hate it or you love it. That is at least the trend I’ve noticed from the reviews I’ve read so far. Very interesting to see all these different opinions!
Landry park sounds like something I’ll enjoy. I don’t mind historical :)
Ugh yeah I had some similar feelings towards Cruel Beauty. it definitely was not my favorite and the large amount of info dumping done to handle the world building got super overwhelming at points. Sorry you didn’t like Landry Park though! I’ve seen good reviews for it but I feel like I might be bored by it too :(
Glad it wasn’t just me! And if you read Landry Park, I’d be interested to see what you think of it!
I had my eye on Cruel Beauty because the synopsis sounds interesting, but I think I might skip it after your review. I wasn’t too impressed by the excerpt either.
I was looking forward to Landry Park, but I’m not into historical at all and since it has a historical feel, I will probably be skipping that one.
*sobs* I’m really looking forward to Landry Park. I’m sad to hear you weren’t into it. I do like historical stuff and political intrigue…hoping it’ll be for me. I wasn’t blown away with Cruel Beauty either and was surprised at all the 5 star reviews. I enjoyed it but not that much. I hope your next reads treat you better.
If you like historical and politics, you’ll probably like it! It’s just not my cup of tea >.< Yeah, it had such high ratings! *sighs* Black sheep again...
Bummer about Landry Park. :( I know *exactly* what you mean about Cruel Beauty though. I was floored that so many people loved it because it’s a classic case of instalove X_X
And yeah, the ending was pure genre vomit. Scifi+fantasy+dystopian+mythology all mixed and dumped on the page. Honestly, it totally lost me.
Ugh, YES! It had good reviews! So disappointing :(
I love your DNF reviews, seriously I do. I had many of the same issues with Cruel Beauty, except that I actually DID finish the book. It was the writing that kept me going because I had a lot of the same feelings throughout the story. In the end, I still kind of liked it, which is weird considering how many problems there were with the story and things that I would normally hate. I think it was the writing style that inevitably saved me, although I think I also pushed through because it was short. If it had been 400 pages or so, it might have been a DNF too.
Oh this makes me sad. I was really looking forward to Cruel Beauty but with all the sex in it….. Sad. Oh well.
I have seen mixed reviews on Cruel Beauty I think, it’s one of those books that you have to read yourself to find out if you like it or not.