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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski // Monsters, Banter and adventure through a dark forest

  GOODREADS // AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch. This is the story of a cursed princess, A crestfallen killer, The town that wants them to burn, And the witch

Frozen Beauty by Lexa Hillyer // Loss, Sisterhood and the weight of secrets

Everyone in Devil’s Lake knows the three golden Malloy sisters—but one of them is keeping a secret that will turn their little world inside out….

No one knows exactly what happened to Kit in the woods that night—all they have are a constellation of facts: icy blue lips and fingers cold to the touch, a lacy bra, an abandoned pick-up truck with keys still in the ignition. Still, Tessa, even in her fog of grief, is certain that her sister’s killer wasn’t Boyd, the boy next door whom they’ve all loved in their own way. There are too many details that don’t add up, too many secrets still tucked away.

But no matter how fiercely she searches for answers, at the core of that complicated night is a truth that’s heartbreakingly simple.

Told in lush, haunting prose, Frozen Beauty is a story of the intoxicating power of first love, the deep bonds of sisterhood, and a shocking death that will forever change the living.
  (A huge thank you to the author for the signed physical ARC and a huge thanks to FFBC tours and the publisher for including me in the blog tour. Click on the tour banner above to view the tour schedule) (US Giveaway at the end of the post)

(+ favourite quotes)

You know how when we read a book and we try to explain our thoughts about it, we think about the plot and how good the twists were and all these technical things? But every now and then you read a book and when you try to explain to someone what you thought of the book, all you can coherently say is that it made you feel. That's how I feel about this book. I got interested in the book for the mystery but now that I finished reading it, I think I can safely say I stayed for the feelings.


~Pining for a sisterhood connection~

     As an only child I've missed out on the whole sibling connection (but thank god for my soul sisters and found families) and this book made me miss it on a whole new level. Kit, Tessa and Lilly have this unsaid competition between them regarding some things, there is envy, the fear of being left out as the younger one, but there's also the deep seated feeling of togetherness and knowing that at the end of the day, your sister is on your side even if the world is against you.

     And the author writes it SO well that it made me physically feel this need for sisters like that. she writes the complex relationships between the sisters so well, the intricacies that come with being seen together; as a triad, the closeness that comes with living under the same room and how despite that you have your own personalities and secrets that your sisters don't know.

     Can you understand from my rambling just how much these three sisters made me feel?

'As the youngest of three, this was the story of her life: this winter coldness, this left-out-ness, this butt-out-and-don't-complain-or-you'll-sound-like-a-whiny-baby-ness'

~The realization that you never really know a person fully~

This story is character driven. The plot might not always be character driven but the things in the story that made me have emotions and feel a deep connection were the characters and the relationships between them. And as the story progresses each of the character realizes in their own way that they didn't really know the person they share the house with/ go out with/ see everyday/ had a close moment with.

In their own ways each character realizes that they didn't really know Kit and each other and it's a realization that hits us just as much as it hits the characters. Tessa struggles with the knowledge that Kit is dead and Tessa didn't know everything about her when she was alive and I felt that helplessness, desperation and loss that Tessa feels as she realizes that she no longer has a chance to get to know her sister better.

~Knowing the truth wrecks you as much as it builds you up~

Tessa searches for answers throughout the book and when she finds them, they're not what she expected but more importantly the answers didn't miraculously make her pain and loss disappear. In some ways the truth made her feel them more acutely. Knowing the truth gives Tessa both relief and a sense of dread and I think that's the case with most hard truths.
'She should probably be crying now, but her eyes remained a stinging dry and her chest tight, trapped under a thick layer of ice. All she could think was how weird this felt, everyone staring at her.'

~Final thoughts~

     I wouldn't necessarily call it a murder mystery even though that's what the story is built around. As a matter of fact, the reveal at the end felt a bit rushed as compared to the rest of the story and quite sudden. It was the only part I had a quibble with.

Do not go in expecting a fast paced thriller. Go in knowing that it's the story of three sisters and what happens when one of them is gone. The story is about the murder investigation but more about what happens with the people left behind, how to they cope. It's beautiful and atmospheric and will give the readers so many emotions that they weren't expecting.

“Death had always seemed like that to Tessa: anonymous and abrupt, crude in its specificity. It happened in the open but was smothered in silence, stifling as a hot day in August. It came without any good reason.”
(actual rating - 4.5)

What was the last book you read that made you emotional? Tell me in the comments below!