Review Round Up: Damsel, My Favorite Half Night Stand, Every Heart a Doorway *Stephanie’s Reviews*

Posted September 7th, 2019 by in *Review / 0 comments

Review Round Up: Damsel, My Favorite Half Night Stand, Every Heart a Doorway *Stephanie’s Reviews*Damsel Published by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 305
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Read in: May 2019
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads
Add to: Goodreads

The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: When the king dies, his son the prince must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon or what horrors she faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome young man, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny of sitting on a throne beside him. It’s all like a dream, like something from a fairy tale.

As Ama follows Emory to the kingdom of Harding, however, she discovers that not all is as it seems. There is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows, and the greatest threats may not be behind her, but around her, now, and closing in. - via GoodReads

1 Stars

I really did not care for this book at all. I saw a lot of reviews on GoodReads call this a feminist fairy tale. I think that does feminism a disservice. Clearly the lesson here was men ruin women. That is all they exist for and not one of them can be a good human being. Arnold beats you over the head with that. There was not literally one good man in the whole story unless you count the glassblower who tolerated her and then sold her work for his own personal gain.

When Arnold isn’t explaining all the ways men suck she’s using every descriptor for genitalia she can think of: yard, turkey leg, horn, tusk, “his measure”; I think everything except penis. Oh and one female character described her own lady parts as “a lump of warm, moist dough” post-sex. Gag!

The most troubling aspect of this entire book is the fact that it is being marketed to young adults. I was horrified. Yes, I do understand that teens can handle much more than we give them credit for. The thing that got me was if Damsel was picked up by a 12 year old and that 12 year old was served up all these issues in a book that doesn’t really address them all that well. A well meaning librarian and/or parent wouldn’t realize everything loaded into this slim novel based on either the cover or the synopsis. I can’t emphasize this enough: this book is meant for the older crowd of “young adult” at best.

I only finished Damsel by Elana Arnold because I had borrowed the audio version on Hoopla and it was a very quick listen/read. I have to say I kind of regret finishing it but I won’t be picking up her books again. I am SO glad I had canceled my pre-order for this book and borrowed it from the library instead. I would have been really unhappy with the waste of $10.

Review Round Up: Damsel, My Favorite Half Night Stand, Every Heart a Doorway *Stephanie’s Reviews*My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Also by this author: Sweet Filthy Boy, Dirty Rowdy Thing
Published by Gallery Books
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 385
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Read in: May 2019
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads
Add to: Goodreads

With a world-famous speaker at their university, Millie Morris and her four woefully single male colleagues make a pact that they’ll all find dates. Unfortunately, Millie has more success helping them make matches online than she does navigating the onslaught of lewd pics in her own feed. But when she creates a fictional name for a new account, Millie finds herself vying for the online attention of a man she sees every day in the flesh. - via GoodReads

5 Stars

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren was my first ever Christina Lauren book! It certainly won’t be the last time I read them. This book was JUST the right blend of light hearted rom-com and serious relationship hurdles.

I can’t imagine anything more terrifying than putting one of you closest friendships on the line to see if there’s something more. I think Lauren did a fantastic job of offering Millie and Reed a safe space to begin to explore that possibility even if only half of them knew it.

Millie and Reed’s reactions seemed pretty realistic and grounded. That’s what I really loved about this book: it wasn’t far fetched and I could see it happening. I loved this group of friends and I really wanted to spend more time with them.

I may have had a huge cheesy smile on my face but I was pretty bummed when it ended. I’m kinda hoping the rest of the guys will get their stories as well!

Review Round Up: Damsel, My Favorite Half Night Stand, Every Heart a Doorway *Stephanie’s Reviews*Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Also by this author: Every Heart a Doorway
Series: Wayward Children #1
Also in this series: Every Heart a Doorway
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 173
Read in: June 2019
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads
Add to: Goodreads

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost. - via GoodReads

4 Stars

I picked up Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire after seeing it pop up in a few BookTube videos. Once I saw how short the book was I decided to give the series a try. I wasn’t disappointed! I found McGuire’s concept of portal worlds fascinating. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the series. As this was the introductory book there was a lot to learn.

Every Heart a Doorway told Nancy’s story and as Nancy learns things so does the reader. Every character we meet is just a little “not normal”. Time in a completely different world has altered them forever.

Nancy spent time in The Halls of the Dead. This book really explored the ways in which the kids would work to try to get back to their portal worlds. I did have suspicions about the mysteries occurring around the school. They turned out to be right but I couldn’t pin a motive.

I’ll be curious to see how the series continues. While the story was finished for Nancy I still wanted more. I suppose that means it was a great book!


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2019 GoodReads

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