Book Review: Stray

Posted September 3, 2015 by Pixie in book review, Pixie / 2 Comments

Book Review: StrayStray by Elissa Sussman
Series: Four Sisters #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on October 7th 2014
Genres: fantasy, romance, young adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

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 received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’ve had my share of DNF reads this year, mostly because I want to keep my pace and get on to next book if I can’t keep going with the current. Not all DNF books from this year have meant something bad, some I have made note to go back at a later time when there’s more room in my schedule (or to put on to my reading list for 2016) and try again. But then there are the ones where I just know I’ll never want anything to do with again because there was something about them. I can’t even begin to push on or try, or take a break and try again. They made my head hurt. My jaw hurt from clenching my teeth to keep from screaming. I probably muttered “what the fuck am I reading?” at least five times before I decided to throw it down and give up.



Stray would be this type of DNF.

Normally, I wouldn’t have bothered with a review with as little as I read from this book. Know how much I read before I said “nope” and quit? A chapter and two pages. I couldn’t take it anymore. Let me emphasize something right quick though: Just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be for you. I’m not reviewing or trying to intentionally be hateful to get people not to read the book.

I needed to rant. Like I said, I don’t usually bother with a review when I DNF a book so early. But immediately this book set me off, and caused me to set it down, and I had to write this out. Stray starts out with a girl–typical, young, pretty–in an unusual boarding school, looking for her “one true love” (*eye roll*). Sounds like a stereotypical, cliché YA so far? Then in comes the Fairy Godmothers…

Yep. Hey.. I said it was an unusual boarding school.

Okay, so each student or whatever I can figure out from the beginning had their own Fairy Godmother. Strange.

Then there’s this scene, people are getting ready for some choosing ceremony type thing or a coronation (I’m trying to avoid spoilers already so I’m also not giving exact details–some of these details may be off on purpose as to events/order, but general ideas/explanations are similar to what I read) and girls are forced to wear particular flowers in a way to show availability and age so the guys can choose which one.

Apparently in this “world,” the MC female is considered ‘ugly’ and is often made fun of due to being “exotic” looking. But she’s only described herself in detail as having brown hair and brown eyes, somewhat plain (geeeee…. Bella Swan, did you move again??) while all the pretty girls (and the majority of the people in this world because, guess what, she has to stand out from the crowd) have blonde hair.

I might have been able to keep going a little further. I might have even been able to force myself to try and finish it, to see how this story developed. But when the addition of the seemingly odd ‘religion/belief’ for this world introduced as well, I really couldn’t then. The Path? Seriously? (The Path was like a woman’s lifetime goal–to stay “pure,” no use of magic/forbidden. If they ‘strayed’ from The Path, they became Fairy Godmothers–which doesn’t sound as good as you think. *I skimmed some later pages to find out a little bit of that extra info on The Path after I read some of the strangeness of it in the first chapter.)


Okay then. As you can see, this definitely wasn’t the read for me. I couldn’t push myself forward with this one so it’s a big DNF. On to the next read!

The good news is I think I’m finally getting out of my reading slump at least! 😉


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