Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

Stray (Four Sisters, #1)Title:  Stray 
Author: Elissa Sussman
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publishing Date: October 7th 2014
Pages: 385
Genre: YA Fairy Tale Retelling
Series: Four Sisters #1
Source:  Audio 


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?

I love fairy tales. Whether they are a retelling or original I can't wait to get my hands on them. I was hesitant with this one but decided to give a go. I have really mixed feelings about this book. I liked some aspects of the book but there was just as much that I didn't care for. I just never really felt a connection with the book and struggled at times to finish the read.

Princess Aislynn has magic, she is a princess, she is not supposed to use her magic, she is supposed to be obedient and good. At her coming out ball she loses control and messes up. Everyone that is important notices and she gets downgraded to a fairy godmother and sent away to another school.  At this new school she learns of secrets, betrayals, friendship, and rebellion. 

The story started off interesting, there was an interesting plot, I really wanted to see where the story was headed. Somewhere in between the beginning and the end I lost interest. The story lacked in pacing and in character connection to me.

The pacing was just way to slow for me. When things did happen, the story had my full attention, unfortunately they were far and few in between. It really wouldn't have been that bad if I had some kind of connection to the characters. The slow parts were full of thoughts- lots of main character thoughts and some character interaction, but I just never felt it. Maybe more character interaction would have made it a better read. I am not sure.

I didn't dislike the main character, Aislynn. She was very likable, just couldn't ever connect. I can't quite say why. She was a great character as in her strengths and flaws. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just didn't feel her.  She wasn't the only character I couldn't connect with. I really didn't get to know any of the characters,they all felt so far away and walled off. Off limits. I was only allowed a glimpse. I found it very sad too because I think they could have been very awesome characters. Oh and I never felt the romance. I am sure it was there. Just didn't feel it.

The last issue I had was the story building Maybe possibly if there would have been more story building to explain the slow pacing, it would have been a bit more likable. There was very little world building and this book actually needed so much more. So much unexplained about magic and fairy godmothers and everything in between. I felt a bit lost quite often wondering why...but why.. I don't understand.

I am very sad I didn't like this story more. I feel that the story had great potential. The story sounded so creative and exciting, but it failed on the delivery. I never felt movement in the story and that was an issue especially without character connection.

I was disappointed, I wish that I could say I loved it but it just lacked too much for me to fully enjoy.

Elissa Sussman
Writer, reader, pumpkin pie eater. I'm not very active on GoodReads, but I love hearing from readers. Visit my website to see how you can contact or connect with me!

1 comment:

  1. So with you on this, (I think I gave it a 3) but my main problem was that I just couldn't connect to her either, and I don't exactly mind a slower paced story, especially when it's character driven, but it didn't feel character driven at all, and a huge part of the plot, after the "Stray", just seemed pointless when she's back to normal. >.< It's like going around in a circle, ugh. And exactly, there wasn't much world-building, which didn't keep me interested in it. :(


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