Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Posted July 9, 2014 by Jessica in Fantasy, Jessica, Reviews, Young Adult / 108 Comments

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Published on: July 8 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 497
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

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Let’s talk about first impressions: they are IMPORTANT.

If, for example, you start reading a new book, and the first glimpses you get of ALL THREE main characters are less than flattering, you might be tempted to toss said book aside in disgust and hope the next one goes better.

Yes. You might.

And in this situation, I would not blame you.

So here’s the deal: I’m not one of those the-less-romance-the-better types. I’m the opposite, in fact. In most cases, a book completely devoid of romance is a book I will almost certainly find lacking. That being said, I don’t like romance tossed in willy nilly, b/c this book needs romance, so, “Hey! You two over there! Yeah, you! Make googly eyes at each other. I don’t care if it doesn’t make sense, just do it! Thaaaat’s it, muuuuuchhh better.”

In fantasy, one of the most common ways for romance to play out is the Arranged Marriage scenario. Neither party is happy about it, but something IMPORTANT is at stake, so two self-sacrificing souls agree to wed for the greater good. Then, despite the obvious unfairness of their situation, stuff happens, they fall in love, and they live HEA.

And this makes you happy, b/c SELF-SACRIFICE.

But what if Princess is a narcissistic little brat who not only runs away from her arranged marriage, but drags one of her good friends along with her? Who cares that the only way to ensure the safety of her family and the general population in the face of a barbarian invasion is to keep with tradition and unite her family with Prince’s family, b/c NEITHER family has the strength to survive alone?

Not Princess. *frowns*

And not only does she not care, she laughs ALL THE TIME. Ah-ha-ha-ha laughs. Like Keira Knightley ruining Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. “Running away equals TREASON to my hard-case father, who had my cousin hanged for desertion, and buried him in an unmarked grave along with his mother (hard-case father’s SISTER), who threw herself off a cliff in despair.”


*flares nostrils*

Oh, and Prince only agrees to the marriage b/c his father tells him he can take a mistress.

And don’t even get me started on Reluctant Assassin.<——if you’re going to be an assassin, you need to frickin’ OWN IT.

BUT despite ALL of that, I kept reading. And it got better.

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn recently used the term “grab-bag” in one of his reviews, and I’m totally stealing it, b/c that’s exactly what’s going on here. We’ve got corrupt advisers to the monarch, a foreign, misunderstood queen who keeps IMPORTANT secrets from her daughter, gypsy caravans, a too-young soldier who bonds with his captive, a grizzled, veteran mentor, etc.

Oh, and there’s also a TIGER. Can’t forget about the (random) tiger.

So what’s Princess doing now that she’s the master of her own destiny?

Working at an inn as a barmaid. YEP. Freedom RAWKS. And it seems like she’d be content to stay there doing honest work forever, but that would be boring, so a Bad Thing happens that probably could have been avoided if she hadn’t run away from her responsibilities, so of course she blames herself (b/c it’s her fault), and she resolutely decides to return home, leaving behind the “farmhand” she’s fallen in love with.

And it all goes downhill from there. The situation, not the story. The story, despite it’s lack of anything new or original, is surprisingly entertaining, and I’ll probably read the next book–who knows what bits and pieces will be thrown together in the next installment, right?

I’d recommend this book to anyone who isn’t a termagant like I am, who thinks it’s ridiculous to place the responsibilities of two kingdoms on the shoulders of a teenager.

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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108 responses to “Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

  1. Less-romance situations only work out for some books. Normally I’d look for a ship even if I’m reading a MG book, haha!

    I don’t like the sound of this Prince guy. An an assassin who doesn’t do a good job of being an assassin? Ha, no thanks. I love how your review’s both specific and vague all at once, Jessica! xD
    Aimee recently posted…Stephanie Perkins in Manila… Flailing!

    • Thanks, Aimee! Prince is actually an okay guy. I should have made a point of saying that, b/c it was just that first impression that was so off-putting. And Assassin isn’t a bad assassin per se . . . except in this situation b/c he doesn’t kill Princess. It’s like Nathan said, “how does one reluctantly decide to kill for money/power?” and Pearson was trying too hard in the wrong ways to make him sympathetic, I think. It was obvious the guy had a lot of Bad in his past, but she gave us NOTHING in that regard, and instead made him waffle. I need to know WHY the guy is waffling. Otherwise he’s just indecisive, and that’s weak. GAWD I sound like a b*tch, don’t I? Sorry, LOL. I’m just very particular about my fantasy 😉

  2. LOL! Yeah, I didn’t get the random tiger. Maybe there’s a reason in the next book(s). I enjoyed this book a lot more than you but I can totally see where you’re coming from. I did appreciate the guessing game of who was who and I’m interested to see what happens next (not that that means anything. I’m terrible about continuing YA series beyond the first book…)
    Mary recently posted…Moving to WordPress…soon!

    • Once I got past the first 10-15% I started liking it more. I respected how genuinely hard-working Lia was, but all the good parts of Lia didn’t mesh well with the parts of Lia that I detested. Ultimately, I just decided to roll with it. I’m pretty sure I’ll keep reading the series, b/c once the HORRIBLE first impressions were out the way, I really was entertained. I was just hoping for MORE, you know?

  3. Oh, Jessica. Have I told you how much I love your reviews? If I haven’t I’ll say it now, I love your reviews. I would have felt the same way about the princess. She sounds selfish and I’m not into that. But I have this weird impulse of reading this book. Should I do it?

    • If you can make yourself push past the first 10-15%, I think you’d be okay. Princess had redeeming qualities, and I’m curious about how the whole barbarian horde thing is going to be resolved. It can’t just be completely obliterated, b/c Assassin is part of the horde, and so is the child soldier . . . It just depends on whether or not you’re able to put aside your immediate dislike of Princess. B/c the decision to run away (of course) has LONG reaching implications, and when she finally comes to the realization that the Bad Things that are happening are basically her fault, you’re going to want to shake her, screaming, “What the bloody heck did you think was going to happen??”

      It wasn’t a total loss, but it’s not anything I’ll recommend to my real life friends who spend WAY less time reading than I do.

  4. Well, this is for sure the first review I’ve read that paints the characters like this, Jessica!

    I had decided to avoid this book basically cause reading the summary it screamed “love triangle” at me, and I’m SO NOT A FAN! But I’ve read reviews from quite a few of my blogging friends that loved the book, and now yours and now I’m once again on the fence about reading this one…

    The thing is, I kinda don’t thing running away from a royal match between two kingdoms is such a bad thing. Might be irresponsible and all that, but if the two bloody kingdoms are better united there might be another way that doesn’t involve taking away the Prince and Princess freedom and just dumping them together and hope for the best? Just set up an alliance damn it! She took a chance and did something other than complain and sulk, she wanted a simpler life and went for it. That in itself is quite unusual, so props to the book for that!

    Great review, Jessica! Even if it’s made me rethink getting this book once again! *makes self confortable on fence*
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #50!!

    • The love triangle in this one isn’t that bad actually. It’s more a case of two guys liking the same girl, but it’s obvious that the girl only has feelings for one of them.

      And yeah, when I was reading this, I thought to myself that people were either going to see Princess as an incredibly strong character and love her, or view her as selfish and naive. I get what you’re saying, and it’s a totally valid perspective. I’m pretty sure you’ll love her, b/c she has enough other good qualities to make her a redeemable character even to me (and I am firmly in the latter camp). Thanks, Pili!

    • Yeah, I knew that a lot of people were going to love this one (even as I was hating it, LOL). It really did get better, but running away was such a Big Deal that, of course, the issue kept rearing it’s head, and making me irritated all over again. I could never get passed it. I have more hope for the next book though, b/c Princess is going to be working towards the things she should have (IMO) been working towards all along.

    • Yeah, unfortunately the romance wasn’t the problem for me. It’s true that there wasn’t much worthy of swoons going on, but it wasn’t awful. My issue was Lia blithely turning her back on her responsibilities. The situation she was in was not a good one. Not at all. But she could have handled it so much better, I think. BUT I knew that lots of people were going to like Lia for the same reasons I didn’t. To each their own, and all that 😉

  5. “Hey! You two over there! Yeah, you! Make googly eyes at each other. I don’t care if it doesn’t make sense, just do it! Thaaaat’s it, muuuuuchhh better.”

    LMAO. Oh, I love you. And I love this review! I’m okay with a lack of romance in a book but only if there’s a potential that it will develop later on (ie, Meg and Simon from The Others) but I totally agree with you that a romance, for the sake of just having one in the book is something I do get irritated with.

    And I think the characters in this book, mainly the Princess, will annoy the hell out of me. I mean, abandoning important responsibilities just so you can tell yourself you’re independent is just selfish. This kingdom needs a new princess! But you did say it will get better so I will probably pick this up, I just have to adjust my expectations and prepare myself with frustrating characters.

    And what is your problem with barmaids?! LMAO. Awesome review, Jessica!
    Amir recently posted…Review: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

    • “so you can tell yourself you’re independent”

      OMG, YES. That was just one part about what killed me with this—no one is EVER truly INDEPENDENT. And if you are, it’s a damned lonely existence, and I don’t envy you. Lia’s attitude is just SO naive and “me, me, me, me, I, I, I, I.” She knows that her father’s kingdom isn’t strong enough to stand against an invasion. She knows future husband’s isn’t either. She know that TOGETHER is the only way, but the two kingdoms don’t trust each other. Thus the necessity to become family. But her future isn’t going to be dictated to her by others! NOPE, it is NOT. So she runs. And then the Bad Thing happens, and she’s all, “OMG, what have I done?!”

      Seriously? Like I said–NAIVE.

      BUT. Forewarned is forearmed, so hopefully you’ll do better with it than I did. And I don’t have a problem with barmaids, LOL. I just worked in a restaurant all through college, so I know what a miserable existence it is. Thanks, Amir!

  6. I actually liked this one. I get you, I understand that it was irresponsible of her to run away, but I kind of understand her too. She didn’t know the situation was so complicated because she had been kept on the dark since ever, I’m sure if she knew the reality of the conflict she would have gone ahead with the wedding. So I don’t place all the blame on her.
    I was glad that there was not a love triangle, I hate love triangles… And… What was with the tiger? I think we’ll have to wait for second book to know more.
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Early Review: Life Drawing by Robin Black

    • Yeah, I knew there was going to be a LOT of people that admired Lia for running. Unfortunately, I’m just not one of them. And it was made worse by all of her joking and laughter, and yes, I know it was a defense mechanism, but it really rubbed me the wrong way. I think this was one of those unfortunate aligning of a bunch of small irritating things that individually could be ignored, but cumulatively . . . not so much. And I know it’s harsh, but I totally blame her. As soon as she ran, I started highlighting everything she said that talked about the war and how dire the situation had the potential to become, and she totally knew. She says point-blank, “Together, the combined forces of Morrigan and Dalbreck could be great, but alone they were miserably vulnerable.”

      And I’m not going to start ranting again, LOL. Yes, I’m glad there wasn’t a triangle, and the tiger was definitely weird. I’m hoping that the next book will go better for me, b/c no more running *crosses fingers*

  7. I live this review. So fun(ny) to read. 😛 This sounds like a book I would easily give up on, but if the rest of it is really worth it then maybe. Although I’m such a character reader that I most likely would be too frustrated to keep up. But maybe the entertainment would keep me going. I’m not really sure. I’ll sample the kindle copy first. XD
    Francine Soleil recently posted…I entitled this “Bananas in Pyjamas”

    This was the…

    • Thank you! And a lot of people really liked this book. I think it was an unfortunate combination of peeves that combined to make a MUCH bigger deal together than it would have been with even just a couple less buttons getting pushed. I can totally understand how some readers would view Lia’s refusal to marry someone she had never met as a strength. I just . . . do not. But still, there was enough good that I really think I’ll read the next book

  8. There’s nothing more entertaining than reading one of your reviews! I giggle-snorted a few times! 🙂 You, my fabulous friend are one talented reviewer!!! True story!

    I seriously dislike when a couple is forced to make googly eyes when it doesn’t call for it! WHYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE do authors do that, huh?

    It sounds like you ended up liking it but I’m just not sure if I should take the chance on this one. GAH!!! Oh the difficult choices I must make on a daily basis. LOL…

    I will be watching for your review on book 2 to help me make a decision. ♥
    Cristina recently posted…We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

    • Thanks, Cristina! Yeah, I’m not recommending this one to anyone as is. I know that there are a lot of people who loved it, but I just can’t. And there weren’t forced googly eyes here. That was just an illustration. Probably a bad illustration. I was tired and cranky when I wrote this review (*cough* at 10pm last night *cough*), but it made sense at the time, LOL. I’m not even sure what I was trying to say. Something leading into the arranged marriage thing, and then I went off on a tangent, maybe. *facepalm* I need ice cream . . .

  9. Anonymous  

    LOL! Yes, what’s up with that Tiger…hmmm? Okay, I think I enjoyed this way more than you did, but I can see some of your points in regards to Lia seeming selfish in the beginning. I actually liked that she was imperfect, and I thought she had wonderful growth in the story. And the twist and play on names was something I enjoyed as well. I’m sorry this one wasn’t for you, Jessica 🙂

    • Yes, I thought Lia had tremendous growth in the story too. And I appreciated her genuine interest in learning how to be useful in a more normal capacity. But . . . yeah, I’m never going to be happy with a heroine running away from her responsibilities, and the way that Lia handled it made it that much worse.

      I wrote this review last night at 10pm, immediately after finishing the book, and I think that may have been a mistake, LOL. Everything I said in the review is exactly what I think about the things that frustrated me in the book, but I didn’t do a very good job of explaining why I still (somewhat) liked it.

      Regardless though . . . the tiger thing was bizarre, right? 😉

  10. Hahaha I’m so the opposite! While I love a good romance story as much as the next, I don’t mind books without romance – in fact if the romance takes over the plot it often ruins the book for me. I guess it’s all about balance. I also have a feeling I’d like this princess for running away from an arranged marriage which I equal to crazyness! I’d rather live in poverty than be forced to marry someone O_O RUN PRINCESS! RUN!! MUAHAHAHA!!

    *Runs away with princess*

    • YES. *sighs* I knew a lot of people would feel that way. I was actually thinking about that in the midst of my fuming while I was reading this book, LOL. And I get it. The situation she was in sucked. I just feel she could have handled it better. And then her laughing about the possibilities of real threats just made it worse. But that’s me, and I know it. Tons of people LOVE this book, and I’m glad for them. Hopefully you will too 😉

  11. I tried reading this for like 3 days and only got to 6%. It was just too slow of a beginning for me. I was hoping the audio would be released but I still don’t see it. I might try to pick it up later but all those 5 star reviews intimidate me…
    Nereyda recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday (116)!

    • YEP. Nothing like a multitude of 5 star reviews to really get you good and intimidated, right? *snickers* I actually did pretty well this time. I didn’t read a single review for this book. Not one. I can’t tell for sure whether or not it helped, b/c I didn’t particularly like it, but I’m pretty sure it did. That’s my new rule—no reading reviews for books I’m excited about. Seeing the ratings is bad enough, but I can’t do anything about that.

    • As far as love triangles go, this one really isn’t that bad. Princess obviously favors one of her suitors over the other, but since we’re reading from all three POVs, it’s a bit awkward to be privy to the spurned, yet unaware that he’s been spurned, suitor’s thoughts. That’s all 😉

  12. I may not be of the same opinion about this book but your review is certainly entertaining! I didn’t feel the romance in the start, it wasn’t until the second half that I started really loving the characters at all. But in the end I did love the book. I think the first half was more a 3 star read for me and the second half was 4 stars. I really was happy with how things were going toward the end.
    Candace recently posted…Young Adult Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

    • Thanks, Candace! LOL. Yeah, like I said, I was tired and cranky when I wrote this review. It got better for me as the story progressed too, but I could never completely get over the running away, b/c first I was angry that she was so naive to think it’d be that simple, and then I was angry that she was so naive to be surprised at the repercussions. I’m more hopeful about the next book, b/c the running is over and done with, so I can just enjoy the story. *crosses fingers*

  13. This would have been a DNF for me. Like you I love a good romance but don’t want a half-ass one thrown into a book just to satisfy those readers, I’d rather have no romance at all if that’s the case! And a random tiger thrown into the mix, umm no thanks. I’ve noticed that our 3 star book reviews are sometimes longer than the ones we love..haha This doesn’t sound horrible but it’s not my cup of tea. Maybe the next installment will be better, sounds like the heroine has potential and sometimes it takes a few books to really like a series. Great review Jessica!
    Lori recently posted…Review: Romancing the Rumrunner by Michelle McLean

    • Thanks, Lori! And yeah, I’m more hopeful about the next book. There is definitely potential, and now that Princess has stopped running, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to focus on the story instead of wanted to throttle the heroine for being so friggin’ naive. B/c the story was REALLY good.

  14. Hehehehe I love this review! Not only because it was all kinds of awesome but also because I just finished reading all the awesome reviews that made me second guess my decision to pass my copy on. Now I know I did the right thing.

    • Thanks, Karen! There are a LOT of people who have really liked this book, but if you feel the same way that I do about a naive, little princess running away from the good of her people, b/c “you’re not the boss of me,” then YES. Absolutely you did the right thing.

  15. Okay, very few YA novels actually catch my eye in a given year. Unless they’re part of an established series or from a big author, I usually let others vet it for me before I think about picking it up. But this one actually got my attention! And I admit I was kind of disappointed when I saw your middling rating, but then I read your review and I think maybe I can get on board with this maniacal laughing princess 😛 Even if I don’t like her, I’ll think I’ll just think of Keira Knightley and her super irritating heehawing and that’ll make me smile.
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

    • And you never know, you might actually like it. LOTS of people did. I just can’t get past the running away when TWO kingdoms’ fates rests on your shoulders, b/c you want to marry for love. Very pragmatic from the lover-of-swoons, I know, but I’m a complicated creature 😉

    • Thanks, Ginny! And yeah, in theory, I recognize that other readers are going to admire Lia for running away. For being brave enough to escape from a marriage she wants no part up, but to me . . . I’m sorry but it’s braver to stay and do your duty. Running is easy. And then people die, so go back to try and fix what you broke when you left. And she knew! Once she ran, I started highlighting everything she said that showed she knew how precarious her kingdom’s situation was, and she KNEW. Anyway, glad someone else is on the same page 😉

  16. I had to scroll up and verify that you did, in fact, give this 3 stars (or paws, whateves). I really thought you hated this book, LOL. I don’t like the fact that a romance is added randomly either. And the main character sounds kind of dumb… let’s become a barmaid, that’s the right choice! NOT.

    Anyways great review. I hope to read this soon. I’ll take into consideration all your disagreements with this book, lol.
    Marianne recently posted…Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

    • Yeah . . . those first impressions were REALLY bad, LOL. Assassin and Prince improved dramatically, and Princess did too, but I was continuous frustrated with her anyway, b/c CONSEQUENCES. But you may love it. A lot of people think Princess running away was a mark of her strength and independence. And I get why they think that, I really do. I just disagree 😉

      Thanks, Marianne! I hope you like it more than I did.

  17. I normally don’t add to my wish list books that are rated 3 stars by peeps I trust, but I gonna make and exception this time because you made me laugh and a book that inspired you to write this review can’t be that horrible after all…LOL I don’t have to have romance in my stories, but if the romance is lacking and not believable it could be a deal breaker, but for some reason I’m curious 🙂 You did say you kept reading it 😉 I figured that by the time this comes out on audio maybe you have read the next book already.
    lupdilup recently posted…The Saint Audiobook by Tiffany Reisz (review)

    • LOL. Yes, and you might not think it’s horrible at all! Like Lia’s father, I’m a bit of a hard-case when it comes to things like . . . see, I can’t even find a way to say it without sounding offensive to people who are more forgiving. *snorts* Basically what I feel like Lia did was put her own needs and wants ahead of the well-being of the people she had a responsibility to. Other readers see her as not being responsible for those people in the first place, and therefore brave for pursuing her own happiness.

      And yes, despite my obstinate refusal to cut Lia any slack, I still enjoyed the book, which is miraculous, really. And I do think the next book could definitely work better for me, so there’s that 😉

  18. Does it mean I’m a bad person if I view “the abandonment of responsibilities as a sign of independence, rather than a sign of self-involvement?” *blinks* Because I totally don’t. 🙂 I’m glad you stuck with it and found some pleasure in the book, Jessica. I would agree with ‘grab bag’ after reading your review. But it seems like maybe this was an okay read on a purely escapism/entertainment level? And those can be nice. I just might check this one out from the library.

    • NO. It does NOT make you a bad person, LOL. GAH. I read this book in a day, and reviewed it at 10pm that night, and I was tired and cranky. And I get that LOTS of people don’t think that it was Lia’s responsibility to save the world in the first place, and she was a 17 year old girl, for the love of Pete—good on her for refusing to marry someone she had never met. That’s a totally reasonable perspective. I need to tweak that last paragraph, I think. I didn’t mean for it come across as so . . . cranky and judgmental?

      • LOL You don’t need to tweak anything, Jessica!! Your review is made of awesome. I was just (trying) to be funny. 😉 I think I would feel the same way about the character, having *ahem* a few years’ experience on her. I mean, if she doesn’t save the world, what world is she gonna live in??? Hello!! LOL

      • ZOMG. I am so dense sometimes. Especially when I already feel like and ranting maniac. And EXACTLY. AND who does you think the barbarians are going to try and take out first? THE LEADERSHIP<------her FAMILY. *headdesk*

  19. Anonymous  

    Narcissus Princess, adulterer Prince, and reluctant assassin. Hmmm, not so fun, but I am still oddly intrigued.

  20. Wow. That’s a lot of comments on this one! I bought this myself to read because I was hearing some good things about but I can see how the overall story arc could get on one’s nerves. Glad you liked it though despite some of these “quirks”!
    Jessica recently posted…Random Thursday

  21. Anonymous  

    Awww sorry you weren’t such a big fan of this one Jessica! Despite all the issues you had with Lia and the story as a whole, I’m glad you were at least entertained:) That’s something! I was a big fan of this one, but it’s always fun to read a differing opinion, and your reviews always make me smile:)

    • YES. Difference is the spice of life, right? And I think the next book could go much better for me. Now that Lia is no longer running, and fully aware of the consequences of her actions, I’m pretty hopeful that her future decisions will be less objectionable 😉

  22. Oh no. Oh no. Oh No. and I thought the love triangle would be a problem for me. Everything you said is going to make me want to pull at my hair.
    It’s like I am cursed.
    No cross that, I AM cursed.

    I was hoping this would be a deal breaker for me and turn out to be a 5 star read… I don’t think it’ll turn out that way though. *sigh*

    I am glad that in spite of everything, you found this to be entertaining! 🙂

    Lovely review, AS ALWAYS, Jessie wessie cupcakey girl.
    (let’s not talk about it)
    Rashika recently posted…[BLOG TOUR REVIEW] All Four Stars by Tara Dairman – “YUM!!! + Pictures Abound!”

    • Dollface, I FELL THE SAME WAY. The ONLY new YA fantasy I’ve remotely liked this year was The Winner’s Curse, and you know that I don’t even consider that one to really be fantasy. ALL of my favorite series except for ToG is over now (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Grisha, Fire and Thorns), and all of the replacement options are MEH at best, crap at worst.<------CURSED. AND I SAID NO "JESSIE," Rashikee, baby 😉

  23. LOL Jessica your review had me laughing
    I definitely enjoyed this one more than you did but i can see where you had issues with it. I agree, Lia was acting a bit childish when she ran away WITH HER BEST FRIEND i might add but i don’t know i was able to not completely dislike her for it in the beginning because i kind of understood why she’s run away too. I don’t know maybe the childish part of me could just connect with that LOL.
    Lily recently posted…Five Ways to Fall (Ten Tiny Breaths #4):Review

    • Oh, no, I definitely get wanting to run away. I was just upset that she actually did it. I mean, never having been a princess about to married off for political reasons myself (*snorts*), I’d LIKE to think that I’d suck it up and do the selfless thing, but you can never know what you’d do in any given situation, until you’ve been in it yourself 😉 I don’t think it’s childish to not WANT to do it. I think Lia just wasn’t thinking very far ahead.

  24. Anonymous  

    Oh I see this one a lot around I confess but I’m not sure. I’m sorry it wasn’t that good but at last some things were great. Maybe one day but well the rating isn’t too high.

    • Oh yeah. The tiger was too bizarre to make up, LOL.

      Do I really rate YA that hard? I didn’t think so, but I’ve had a long run of YA that was more MEH than fantastic, so I’m starting to wonder . . . anyway, THANKS 😉

  25. Hey, now! nobody mentioned about that random tiger! 😉 Is it like “Life of Pi” kind of tiger is it more random than that? In any case, I heard about the love triangle here, and I heard about the reluctant assassin, and I also heard about the insipid heroine, and the love triangle… so that makes it more of “I’m-On-The-Fence” book, but still, I feel kinda curious at the same time. Other reviews stated how it’s the kind of book where you’re not really sure which is who between the two guys Lia meets as a barmaid. I want to read it just so I can go, “HAH! I knew it was you!”
    Faye recently posted…[BLOG TOUR REVIEW] All Four Stars by Tara Dairman – “YUM!!! + Pictures Abound!”

    • Yeah . . . I’m kind of reluctant to say this, b/c I don’t want to offend anyone who thought that the whole “twist” was awesome, but it was obvious something was up. You’ve got three POVs, right? Princess, Assassin, and Prince. You don’t hear from Prince or Assassin very often, but they do have a voice. And then halfway through the book I started noticing that some of the POV changes were listed as “Rafe” and “Kaden” while “Assassin” and “Prince” where still showing up as well . . .

      To me, there’s a difference between clever and deliberately manipulative. Obviously and deliberately manipulative . . . not impressed. *shrugs*

  26. :))) Your reviews are just so awesome, I swear!
    Not likely I’ll pick this up, to be honest, it always annoys me when the fate of a kingdom falls on the shoulders of a teen. I think it’s one of the reasons I dislike Dystopia, it just seems too far out there for me to actually believe. Lol. Maybe in an UF setting, with lots of stuff happening, it becomes more credible to me, especially if we’re not talking about a teen I guess, but other than that… lol.

    Glad you did find some enjoyment, despite the less thrilling aspects of the novel 😀
    Livia recently posted…Carrier by Anne Tibbets & Giveaway

    • Thanks, Livia! And yeah, it’s farfetched for the weight of the world to ride on any singular individuals shoulders, so it doesn’t much matter to me whether the person is a teenager or an adult. I can willfully suspend disbelief. BUT the the teen in question is naive and short-sighted . . . definitely have a problem with that . . .

    • Yeah, I try not to have high expectations, but I think it’s unavoidable. As crazy as our TBR lists are, the books that we take the time to read . . . we pick them based on our expectations.

  27. Oh Jessica I love your reviews. I tell you this every time because I don’t think I smile as much as I do when I read your rants about the book or stories to accompany the review.You are probably one of the most interesting people I have met while blogging and if I ever travel to the USA, you are definitely a blogger I would love to meet! Your reviews make my day!!! Great review and I really like the cover 🙂

    PS I would totally have expected the WTF button. It’s never too soon 🙂

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.
    Chene Sterckx recently posted…Book Review: Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale #1) by Alexia Purdy

    • Thanks, Chanzie! I like you too 😉 If you ever come stateside near me, we will definitely have to get together. And I really wish I had used the WTF?! Elephant, LOL. You are definitely right, it’s not too soon, especially with the random TIGER. I mean, really? And yeah, covers get me every time!

    • If it falls in you lap, you could always pretend you don’t see it, stand up, and kick it under the couch . . . just sayin’ 😉

      And seriously . . . the entire concept of the Reluctant Assassin boggles my mind.

    • LOL, yes—I love the kitties too. But this random tiger barely made an appearance (that’s part of the randomness), so I’m not sure it would be worth it for you at this point 😉 I am planning on reading the next book though, so I can let you know if it turns into anything bigger than, “oh hey, there’s a tiger.” *snickers*

  28. Oh, okay, when you said you already got my email, it was because of my comments, right? Ooooh, okay! Yeah, this novel…I’m interested but it sucks that the first part(?)/beginninh(?) was bad. Glad it gets better though and that you’re interested in reading the sequels. Great review, Jessica!

    PS. Still, can’t believe you said that about P&P. *sigh* It’s okay though, it’s not like I liked Fire like you did. We can share different opinions.
    Lola recently posted…Review of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    • Huh? I don’t understand! What comments? What email?! The one I wrote back to yesterday? I’m so confused, LOL. Anyway, thanks, LOLA! And like I said, if you don’t think it’s the princess’s responsibility to save the world, then you might like it. LOTS of people do. I’m just a grouch 😉

      And you say that b/c you have watched the BBC P&P miniseries. Have you read the book? B/c if you’d read the book, you’d know that Lizzie is NOT a giggler. AND I’m just over Kiera Knightley. I mean, really? Who does she think she is playing Elizabeth Bennett, Anna Karenina, AND Guinevere? What’s next? Hester Prynne? I just can’t . . . But yes, my lovely, you are allowed to have different opinions 😉 Don’t mind me and my tangents—I don’t expect you to always agree with me. That would be boring.

      • Haha, it’s ok, forget about it. 😉

        Euh, non, I haven’t watched the mini series and I’m not interested. Hum, I read the book yeah, and I admit I was a bit confused why KK giggled so much in the movie but she said in the movie that they are a all like that in the family. In the book yeah not really but still their family has that cheerful atmosphere. AND LOL, I LOVE KK! I started watching AK once but then stopped because really prefered reading the book before. Have you read it?? I think she is an amazing actress. Hester Prynne, who’s that?? Well glad to know we can have friendly debates sometimes. ;))
        Lola recently posted…Review of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

      • The first paragraph will tell you what I think about Anna Karenina. And Hester Prynne? *frowns and squints* The Scarlet Letter? Not my favorite book, but definitely an important one. Well . . . for Americans. Were there any Puritans in Canada? I don’t think so . . .

        And of course we can have friendly debates. I LOVE friendly debates 😉

  29. Tina from Not Yet Read

    Do you remember the reference to her being almost eaten by a tiger as a child? Because that was early in the book… so the random tiger didn’t feel as random to me… why a tiger… don’t know. Hoping to find out in the next book. Same for the reluctant assassin, I feel there is a back story here to help explain the situation. I loved the grab bag feel of this one, and although the princess runs away like a twerp, she grows and sees life and starts to get the responsibilities part…so I can even go with that. Bummer you didn’t love it, but glad you;ll give the sequel a chance!
    Tina recently posted…Review: Flight of the Golden Harpy by Susan Klaus

    • Yeah, but see I thought that almost getting eaten by a tiger as a child was pretty random too, LOL. And it was actually the lack of backstory with Assassin that bothered me the most. A Reluctant Assassin is never going to be a favorite with me, b/c I LOVE assassins, but a Reluctant Assassin with ZERO explanation for his reluctance . . . *frowns* But yes, I have higher hopes for the sequel, b/c not more running!

    • This one seems to have readers in a 50/50 split from what I’ve seen. Some of LOVE it, and some of us HATE it, so if it’s the kind of book you usually love to read anyway, then I say go for it—it’s the only way you’ll know for sure, but if YA fantasy isn’t usually your bag . . . yeah, maybe look into it a bit more before deciding 😉

  30. Hi, Ms. Jessica! This book sounds interesting for sure, but with all the things you mention — bratty princess (lol), randomness, senseless romance, etc etc — I may pass. This whole post had me laughing out loud, as per usual — awesome review! Thank you for stopping by! *hugs*

    ~Mckenzie @ A Belle’s Tales x
    Mckenzie recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (43): Atlantia by Ally Condie

  31. *Makes googly-eyes at Jessica* Did that work? No? A little bit, maybe? *blinks*

    Yeah, I don’t think The Kiss of Deception would work for me, Jessica. And I have DNF’ed more books in the past six months than I have in the past few years before that, so thank you very much for your honest and to-the-point review!

    I hope your next read had lots and lots of great romance 😉
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: In Deep – Terra Elan McVoy

    • LOL. Yes, it totally worked, Lexxie. And me TOO. What is up with all the MEH books lately?

      Thanks, and I’m rereading Kate Daniels, so the Kate and Curran dance has me PLENTY happy 😉

      • I don’t know what’s up with the MEH books lately. I hope it’s not only me being more and more difficult, really.
        I haven’t even started the Kate Daniels series yet… I believe I own some of the books, though. And I can’t wait for The Witch with No Name!!!
        I’m re-reading (actually listening this time) to Downside Ghosts, and I’m loving it 🙂
        Lexxie recently posted…Review: Dissonance – Erica O’Rourke

      • Lexxie!! Kate Daniels is the BEST. Seriously—you need to find that cabin in the woods, LOL. A week should just about cover it 😉

        And I can’t wait for The Witch with No Name either!!