Tag Archives: YA Book Review

Book & Tea Review: The Cruel Prince and Dragonfruit Dream

Today I’m reviewing another book and tea pairing!

📚The book: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
🍵The tea: Dragon Fruit Dream by Adagio Teas

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The Cruel Prince is an exceptional story that draws you in just like getting tricked into a bargain to go into the land of Faerie! I could not put it down, and I have really been meaning to get the rest of the series.

I hadn’t read anything by Holly Black since reading Tithe as a teenager. I remember it being one of my favorite books.

I was fortunate enough to meet Ms. Black at a convention in February (one of the last public things I’ve gotten to go to! So glad I went) at Boskone in Boston.



The characters of The Cruel Prince are complex and I really enjoy that a lot of them are morally grey. The fae characters are very grey, and though they can be dark sometimes, I think it’s “realistic”, as realistic as writing fae can be.

I can’t wait to read the next one and see where all the scheming goes!

It pairs nicely with Dragonfruit Dream tea, an intoxicating fruit herbal tea from Adagio Teas.

I picked it because it has these cute little apple pieces which reminded me of the sweet fruit of the realm of faerie. It makes a great iced tea, and I used my Teavana Teamaker to steep it in.

Book Review: Coiled by H.L. Burke

What a magical book!  I was really excited to read this book, because it’s a retelling of a Greek myth–but it’s entirely unique, and very well-told.

I recently interviewed H.L. Burke on my blog as part of her Coiled release blog tour, and the book will be available on June 15, 2017.

A twist on Eros and Psyche, the story of Laidra and Calen is at times heartbreaking, heartwarming, and full of intrigue, adventure, and even an Olympian-style quest.

Laidra is cursed with hideousness that worsens whenever she heals someone, while Calen is cursed with the incredibly debilitating–and rather inconvenient to say the least–problem of turning into a giant snake when he is seen by another person.

There’s beautiful symmetry with the two curses, and ugly humanity rears its head in different ways when their respective families are confronted with just how to handle their cursed children.

I enjoyed this read from beginning to end, and though I thought I could see where it was going one moment, was pleasantly surprised by each turn of events. I thought the tale was expertly woven, and–importantly for me–no cringe-worthy romance: I loved watching Laidra and Calen’s relationship develop right from the start.

Burke’s characters always have real depth to them, especially in this book. Even the gods and demi-gods, though by definition are stuck within a certain role, each has quite a personality and lends their voice to the story.  I always love the humanization of mythological gods.  On the side of a vase the gods look all perfect and pristine, but when they get involved with mortals, they’re squabbling and plotting right down in there.

I would highly recommend for a pleasant YA read that will give you a good adventure, love, curses, intrigue, and even a magical beast or two!



Available on Amazon, Kobo, Nook and iBooks.


Also check out the Facebook Launch party happening June 23rd!

Book Review: The Waterfall Traveler by S.J. Lem

Go ahead, judge this book by its cover!

The world behind it is just as intriguing and mysterious as the cover will lead you to believe.  Ri just wants to cure her adoptive father Samuel, but two chance encounters in the woods lead her on a wild journey through worlds she never knew–and Samuel and his sickness are part of a much bigger tale.  And to top it off, a strange phenomenon called the Culling is wreaking fatal havoc wherever they go.

The characters immediately grow on you.  Ri herself had an element to her that I couldn’t quite place–but, no spoilers, you’ll actually find out why that is later in this book.   And, to leave us wanting more, that element is revealed in full in the epilogue, no doubt to be explored in the sequel.

Ri encounters and picks up a band of characters throughout her journey, and some very unlikely ones at that–which is probably why the journey is so “fun” as a reader.  The chemistry is really fun to explore, and most of them are driven by love, which generally redeems their sometimes darker sides.

I did have a bit of trouble with the pacing in the beginning, but it picks up speed as it goes along.  The places Ri and the team travel through, and what they find there will keep you itching to know more about the Culling, what it may or may not have to do with Ri, and what the gods have in store for them all.