[eARC Review] Stray by Elissa Sussman

Friday, October 17, 2014

Title: Stray
Author: Elissa Sussman
Series: Four Sisters #1
Genre: YA Fantasy Fairy Tale Retelling
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

STRAY is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, all set in a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict doctrine called The Path.

I am a sucker for retellings and this one drew me in from how different it sounded from the ones i had read before. This is not about a certain fairy tale character, but of the fairy godmothers and how they are born to be. I loved this aspect of the story because it is something we don't normally think about. We think about the princesses, the princes and the villains but we don't thunk if those who take care of these characters. This made me like this book even before I opened the first page.

I will admit that I had a hard time connecting to the characters in the book. I felt a bit of distance between them, and I really do not know why. I think they seemed young to me, younger than i thought. I did not feel as invested in the story as I wanted. I wanted to be immerse in the culture of this story and the world that the author created, but sadly something was holding me back. I felt myself skimming passages in order to get to more interesting parts. I felt that the plot lagged in places and therefore I was bored at times when reading. I thought there was not enough character interactions for me and that is usually the best part of a book for me, and how I get to know certain characters. I just felt like there was not enough of that.

There was a small mystery element in this story and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. I felt like if it was a more prominent aspect pf the overall plot I would have enjoyed the book a lot more, but we never really got to invest in the mystery as much as I would have liked. And since this is the first book in a new series, I was not captured enough to really want o keep reading. I am interested in where this series goes, and I might pick up the second book but for me this book lacked many aspects that a good series needs, and I was a bit disappointed in it.

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