My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you haven’t read my review on the first instalment, Valentine, then please check it out.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE BOOK:
I absolutely adored the first instalment of this series, so you bet your booty I was pumped for the sequel. It felt like it took me a while to finish, but I must say… the past 100 pages flew by in seconds! I love love love everything in these books. I will support McAlister always, as long as she keeps pumping out awesome YA romance and fantasy SET IN AUSTRALIA! (😍😍😍)
Pearlie is such a lovely character! I really felt her post-showdown terror after confronting previously-thought fictitious beings. She was incredibly realistic as an Australian teen girl, especially for one who saw a dear friend be eaten by a swamp monster.
Finn Blacklin (what a great name) is swoon-worthy once again. He’s a little too much “rawr stop trying to protect me! I’m the man! I will protect you.” Which, don’t get me wrong, is lovely to read. It’s better than him going “haha thanks for all the sacrifices Pearl, byeeee!”.
I LOVE TO HATE TAM. What! A! Character! Jodi McAlister did such a great job with Tam’s character development. He was the star of the novel for me. He’s witty and surprising, even to the very end.
aka crazy fiancé. Yup, I didn’t like her- but I totally understood where she was coming from. She was still giving Pearl a go (lingo for a chance, for any non-Aussies). Emily reminded me of the fire and passion found in Twilight’s antagonists. It gave me a thrill of teeny bopper anxiety. I loved it!
such a mystery in this one, and I loved what he turned out to be his story.
Phil: honestly, I’m a little disappointed that (view spoiler) She was not in the right to be such a stuck up bitch. It reminds me of a time I helped a girl who was drowning— and then she’d always frown at me and avoid me for years on?? What’s the mentality?
The first half was not as great as the first one. But then the plot twists just kept rolling in and woooooweeeeeee! It BEATS the first instalment (I rarely ever say that). My favourite scenes were:
- people finding out about fairies
- the piano scene with Finn and Pearl
- the world freezing at Cardy’s fundraiser
- Pearl figuring out the hidden backstory to Finn and the Valentine children’s switcheroo.
- meeting the Cruel Prince (for realz— I hope Holly Black and Jodi McAlister write a fairy novel together and it can be about super evil princes with a cause).
- dealing with the ending of book one
- trying to make sense of all the crazy Unseelie possessions
- the world freezes
- Tam’s a Bitch
- Unseelie vs Pearl and Finn showdown
- The Cruel Prince
- first love
- sex sex sex sex sex
- music?? Idk I didn’t give a damn about that entire subplot of Pearl’s characterisation
As I said earlier— the ending to this was even better than the first. If you didn’t looove Valentine like I did: give this a chance. It’s even more deliciously faerie, with more darkness and more gore. Oh, and more romance ❤️.
I LOVE JODI MCALISTER!!!! I want to live in this world (sorta, without anybody trying to kill or possess me). I really really really appreciate an author writing about fairies in Australia AND it’s in a YA context.
This has changed my life. Thank you, McAlister!!! ❤️❤️❤️