{Review} WITHERING ROSE by Kaitlyn Davis

The first book in the series, 
GATHERING FROST, 
is on sale digitally 
for 99 cents!
BUY IT  TODAY!

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O P E N I N G   L I N E:

    I'll never forget the exact moment I started to die.
    The day the world fell apart.
    The day my world fell apart.
    The morning of the earthquake began as a morning like any other. The air was cool and crisp, blowing through the slightly ajar carriage window and stinging my nose. I sat beside my father, hands encased in delicate lace gloves and folded perfectly on my lap. The dainty gold crown marking my station was pinned neatly into my hair, nothing compared to the brilliant,jewel-adorned one atop my father's tanned brow. I sat with my ankles crossed, trying my best not to kick my feet, though they dangled a foot above the carriage floor. And my eyes were glued out the window, transfixed by the snow-capped mountains cutting through the horizon like a sharp blade.
    The mountains of the beasts.
    A place of legend and myth.
(pg. 9, US e-book edition)
This review was first posted at A Backwards Story on June 2, 2016 and has been updated upon a recent re-read. 


“I'm a princess. 

I have magic. 

I'm about to run away into the realm of the beast. 

And I'm afraid of a few mean girls.” 

WITHERING ROSE 


If you're a fan of Beauty and the Beast or completely new twists on tales, you're going to love WITHERING ROSE! Beauty and the Beast retellings tend to be some of the best retellings out there. I don't know if it's because I love the story so much, or because we ALL do, and something in the tale inspires writers. The best versions, to me, are the ones that are differentA COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas. HEART'S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier. OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay. I could go on. WITHERING ROSE is definitely up there on my list. When I did a round-up of my Top 10 B&B retellings, this book made the list! -- and after my recent re-read, I'd still say that's true. I just love how unique the world and the curse are. Plus, this book so far boasts my favorite couple in the series!

Omorose Bouchene was one of many displaced when her world collided with Earth, merging the two realities together. She was a princess in her own world, and now, she's a wallflower. Tasked with hiding the magic living within her veins, she lives every day trying to keep her abilities a secret. The humans of Earth hate magic and have been trying to eradicate and return their world to the way it was Before. Not using her magic is slowly killing Omorose -- but the curse of her magic kills her if she uses it, too. (Making the title WITHERING ROSE laden with extra meaning!) Either way, Omorose will live a short life. It's a matter of whether the humans or the magic within her will get to her first. Desperate to live rather than hide, Omorose stages her kidnapping and runs away to the mountains, hoping the Beast of legend will help her survive. But she's in for more than she bargained for...


I really like the way Davis flips the tale of Beauty and the Beast so completely. It works within the hybrid world she builds upon from GATHERING FROST, where two realities merge and create a new one at odds. I love how she twists the tale and the rose with the falling petals is living INSIDE Omorose. Every time she uses her magic to heal or to grow, a little piece of her dies and the petals of her heart fall. It's such a cool image. And dangerous, too!

One of my favorite aspects of the B&B tale is, of course, the romance. There just seems to be more of it in this tale, and done more naturally. Especially in situations like this one, where there's no finger pointing at Stockholm Syndrome because it's not present. The chemistry between Omorose and Cole (Our shape-shifting Beast, who is more often human than not) sizzles and has you wanting these characters to be together. They're never flat or boring or forced together, and I loved the way their romance unfolded.


WITHERING ROSE can definitely be read on its own as a stand-alone, but characters from GATHERING FROST do appear and their presence is more awesome if you have read it first. Plus, each book adds a taste of the next book to come in a way that makes you want it RIGHT NOW, even though it will stand on its own. This book is the catalyst for the brand-new release CHASING MIDNIGHT, which doesn't stand as easily on its own if you haven't read this one first. You'll hear all about the book tomorrow in my blog tour post!  I really like this new world Davis has created that continues to explore and evolve, and I'm so excited to finish the series this year.
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C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( Lots of kissing; it's sensual, but has nothing inappropriate; mentions that they share a bed in passing; a comment when kissing that the time for talking has passed that can be read into by older readers; a comment that in dreams, they do things she wouldn't want others to see. )
Language: G ( Freaking; a character comments that he finds a situation sexy. )
Violence: G ( Imagination running wild picturing a loved  one ripped to shreds. )
Other:  --
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C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The redesign is super pretty!!! I like the way both covers use the same coloring in the background and the dress,as well as a special symbol in the title.

These covers are intriguing and remind me of fairy tales, so I'd pick this up off the shelf right away!
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O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  WITHERING ROSE
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Kaitlyn Davis
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

**A USA Today Recommended Series!**

What if Beauty was cursed, and the Beast was the only one who could save her? Don't miss WITHERING ROSE, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Beauty & The Beast.

"As the heat finally disappeared, I felt the bloom blossom in the very core of my soul, a rose just like my name--a ticking clock hidden behind a fa├žade of beauty. From that moment on, my life would become a countdown, and all I could do was wait and watch as the petals of time slowly started to fall."

Omorose Bouchene has a secret--magic. There's only one problem. At the age of seven, an earthquake struck, catapulting her into a new world. A land made of skyscrapers and cell phones. Fast cars and fluorescent lights. A land where magic isn't supposed to exist and anyone who wields it is the enemy.

But after ten years of hiding, she's desperate to find a place where she can be free. Because all magic comes with a curse, and her curse is time--every ounce of power she uses strips days off of her life. The clock is winding down, and the only option left is to escape to the realm of the Beast. But the king of monsters isn't what he seems. And the more Omorose opens her heart, the more she comes to realize that the only person she may need to fear is herself.

*This is the second book in Once Upon A Curse, a series of interconnected stand-alone novels all set in the same fantasy universe.



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