Monday, 7 October 2013

Caragh Reviews - Briar Rose by Jana Oliver

Published - 12th September 2013
Publisher - Macmillan
Format - Paperback
Synopsis - For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She's stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won't let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who's spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She's tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she's actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes . . . And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can't do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.

Briar Rose is an unconventional fairytale that is full of adventure, friendship, and love - as every fairytale should be!

I didn't really know what to expect when I first picked up Briar Rose. I'm a huge fan of Oliver's Demon Trapper series and so I had perhaps unfair expectations upon first reading the book. Briar Rose started off great. It pulled me in straight away and I was immediately intrigued by the relationship between the Roses and Quinns, what their secret is and how it was going to play out.

It was also refreshing to see that although Briar didn't know about the curse, Oliver didn't try to keep it a secret. It was presented and accepted by all as it was inevitable and there was no point hiding from it. I can see that maybe some could find that frustrating or even unrealistic but it totally worked for me.

Every single character was well written and had warmth and depth - even the bad guys to an extent. The world was well created - both Briar's real world and her fairytale world which made it interesting and exciting to read no matter what was happening, or where.

Briar Rose took longer to read than a book would usually take me as to be honest, after the first couple of chapters it fell a little short. The story dropped in excitement and there was little anticipation until the story unfolded more. However, after the initial dip, it picked right up again and after that I couldn't put it down! I rarely read fairytale-esque books so it was a nice refreshing change and by the end, I was hooked. Briar Rose is a standalone book but I hope that Oliver writes more books like this soon!


Jana Oliver said...

Thank yo so much for the lovely review! Briar Rose was something new for me as I hadn't ever tackled a fairy tale before and it was a standalone. I usually thing in terms of long story arcs. It was a refreshing change and I really enjoyed writing Briar's story.

Loaded Shelves said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, Jana! It was a great story and you write incredible characters who stick with you. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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