I do not have time to read, but the books just keep getting stuck to my face. UF, HF, YA, fluffy romance, whatever. I love it all.
But I might judge you if you hand out five stars all willy nilly.
When I chose this book, the synopsis promised me:
A captivating and magical adult retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
What I got was:
a magical middle-grade retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon with an awkward mention of an 'erect penis'
And that's really my biggest complaint.
It felt like the author really wanted to be writing a middle-grade/YA fantasy book, and she could have pulled that off beautifully with the framework she built, but instead she tried to ride the NA wave and draw in an older audience by adding some sexy times to her story. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like she was comfortable writing it and I was bored reading it.
Other than that one incongruent sexual reference, the love scenes were very vague and mostly "fade to black." I didn't go into this expecting an erotica or anything, but if you're going to market it to adults and throw in words like that, then don't prude out on me. Either refer to sex completely in vague terms, or tell me what happens, but you cannot throw in a graphic phrase for shock value and then fade into the next day when the girl is "sore down there." It just doesn't fit with the story.
Since this was supposed to be a NA book, I had higher expectations for world-building and wanted a deeper romance, but found this really was just the original fairytale with some padded action scenes and dialogue. She followed the fairy tale almost exactly (I looked it up on Wikipedia to make sure). That would be fine, except I don't personally care for fairytale retellings unless they take the original and put a new spin on it. This was just like reading a Hans Christian Anderson story, only a little longer and with a unexpected penis reference. Are you uncomfortable seeing Hans Christian Anderson and penis in the same sentence? Me too. Those two things just don't belong together, which is why I was put off by it.
The NA content (which honestly doesn't add anything to the story and is pretty sparse) could be eliminated and this would instantly become a great middle-grade fantasy book. This is a story I would have loved as a 13-year-old girl. But since it's there I can't recommend it for younger readers either, and it felt too juvenile for me to enjoy as an adult.
If you are an adult who likes middle-grade books and fairytale retellings, you may enjoy this story, but since that wasn't what I was looking for, it left me disappointed.