Genre: young adult, fiction, fantasy, romance
Published May 3rd 2016 by Kindle Press
Shunned by the other dryads, Aurianna lives unloved and alone. When a beautiful human named Branson King crashes into a tree and kills her grandmother, the dryads force Aurianna to take an oath that she will find and kill Branson—or die herself. But instead of finding a hardened human heart, Aurianna discovers friendship, affection, and sparks of passion—along with a deadly secret. As her relationship with Branson grows, Aurianna is confronted with a harsh reality: in order to live, she must kill the only person that might ever love her.
Oh, ratings, why must you be so complicated? This is amongst the trickier books for me to rate, there are several reasons why and I encourage anyone reading this review to continue reading the “why” behind my rating.
This particular story involves two worlds, the world of dryads and the world of humans, it just so happens that these two worlds collide. There was once peace between the two worlds, kept in place by a pact that the eldest human of the realm [just so happens to be the “King” family] would offer their eldest male heir to the Dryad Queen or her daughter to keep the peace. There is much turmoil to be had from generation to generation and by the time Branson King comes along, a troubled seventeen-year-old who has lost his family due to a tragic accident who has recently been court ordered to live with his two kooky aunts, he finds trouble yet again – in the form of wrapping his tree around a car. A dryad, Aurianna, finds herself torn but is drawn to the human boy so she heals him, which leads her being dubbed as an outcast.
To begin with, this storyline is interesting, I haven’t read a book that is like this before and I enjoyed the concept. The world that is created through text brings you exactly to the lines being read, so you experience, feel and taste the world around you, which kudos to Bell for that! The world is as we know it and yet not because there are magical elements added in. There were some aspects that were a little too far fetched for me that made it difficult to delve deeper into the fantasy element, but they were scattered here and there, not a constant thing.
What I wasn’t keen on was the fact the majority of the book takes place over the course of two days and during those two days Aurianna and Branson topple head over heels. It was cute, but the hormonal drive behind Branson was tiresome and distracted from the overall story. I would have liked to see deeper connections here rather than a superficial love.
There are also a few moments that I found myself having to pause, go back and read a few passages more than once or even twice, because it seemed to have flown directly into a memory or a feeling of a memory.
Overall, though, I enjoyed it and read it quickly. It was difficult to rate, but I would give it a 3.2
I’ve never read a tale about a Dryad, have you and if so, what was the book?