[ARC Review] Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

3 Things About This Book
| A Romance Between Two Liars | Precarious, Treacherous Love-Hate Relationship | Defying Fates and Seizing Their Own Narrative |

Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Series: Violet Made of Thorns, #1
Expected Publication: 2022 by Hodder & Stoughton
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Book Depository

With elements of a classic fairytale, Violet Made of Thorns is a love-hate romance that can get pretty toxic yet remains an addictive read. The story unfolds through the eyes of Violet, the seer working for the royal family who had once, defied fate and saved Prince Cyrus who immediately lifted her from poverty upon her request as thanks. Unfortunately, the Prince is also cursed and his choice of a bride will either save or damn the kingdom While this may sound like the perfect setup for a sweet fairytale, the actual story is far from that.

Both Violet and Cyrus are liars in their own ways. For Violet, lying is a means to live. She lies to keep herself alive and safe, to make herself as useful as she can be so she doesn’t have to return to being alienated as an Outsider street urchin, and so she can live her life on her own terms. Cyrus, on the other hand, lies to hide his true feelings. He isn’t the Prince Charming you’d expect and is, instead, quite selfish and manipulative (though, he’s sometimes unaware of it as he believes he’s doing something good).

They’re also both incredibly flawed characters that often make wrong decisions yet aren’t afraid to defend those wrong decisions of theirs. This can make them more unrelatable and dislikeable to some readers, but for me? I really enjoyed this aspect because it’s refreshing to read from the perspective of someone who struggles with things that come easily to a ‘good’ hero(ine).

Moreover, I really liked the way the plot unfolded and the writing. The twists and turns, plus Violet’s sardonic tone kept me hooked from start to end. It was easy to see how Violet fell in lust with Cyrus (I wouldn’t say love at this point because she is very much still afraid of trusting parts of herself with others), and how Cyrus loved her yet hated the person she became. Though, ngl, I did get a little annoyed when Violet went to visit Cyrus while dressed up just for him but then again, people can’t be without weaknesses…

All in all, Violet Made of Thorns is perfect for those looking for unconventional characters and an unconventional romance within a story with fairytale elements. This book here is mainly about the lies, the liars and their precarious, treacherous (toxic) love, but when you look away from the spotlight, you’ll be able to see how it’s also about seizing and making your own fate, colonialism, human greed and more.

PS: If your reading preferences is similar to mine, you’d fall in love with the side cast of intriguing, diverse characters as well (Camilla, the sapphic, chaotic twin sister of Cyrus has completely stolen my heart)!

Thank you so much Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!



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