First Lines Monday

First Lines Monday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words.  I found this post on Becky’s Book Blog and I loved it so much I decided to try it out. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  1. Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  2. Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  3. Finally… reveal the book!

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heart-breaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Sirens, Pirates, Mermen and More…

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“A prince may be the subject of myth and legend,” he explains, “but he can’t live in them. He should live in the real world, where he can create them.” He looks solemn. “You should pay less mind to fairy tales, Elian, or that’s all you’ll become.”

When he leaves, I think about whether that would be awful, or beautiful. Could it really be such a bad thing, to become a story whispered to children in the dead of night? A song they sing to one another while they play.

The literary fiction world is being dominated by YA authors popping in on the scene left right and center. Amidst this overcrowded genre, the sub-genre of retold fairy tales has carved a niche for itself and authors like Sarah J. Maas and Renee Ahdieh have ensured that mark won’t fade away with the passing of time.

While eloquent authors have deftly embedded plots of Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast and more in their works, the story of Ariel was overlooked by many.

Not anymore.

Alexandra Christo‘s debut novel To Kill A Kingdom will steal your heart with the emotions it brings forth. She beautifully creates a world where sirens, mermen and mermaids exist along with humans. Midas is the mightiest of the hundred kingdoms on land and the sea is ruled by one Sea Queen.

Sirens that steal human hearts with nothing but cruelty in their own and a prince that has vowed to end the deadliest siren of all. A mother that prides her crown over her daughter and a father who’s considerable riches aren’t enough to keep his son home. A princess with no land to call home and desire to be queen in the middle of it all. All tied together with the thirst to know more of the legend that promises an end to The Prince’s Bane and bring peace between the land sea.

It’s so easy to get swept by the brilliance of Christo’s writing that I overlooked the lack of development in the novel. It definitely feels too short. Too many characters that haven’t been given the attention they deserve. The novel focuses on singular aspects of the siren princess Lira and pirate Prince Elian of Midas throughout the book. Elian’s advisors aren’t given enough space to develop and as he travels through the seas, the very few characters introduced are portrayed with importance yet not given the same gravity in their time in the novel. Elian’s ace – Princess Yukiko in my opinion is another novel just waiting to happen (Alexandra Christo if you ever read this – HINT).

While the story feels rushed, Christo’s writing style and the plot itself makes the book an interesting and fun read. How did the battle between the land and sea end? We recommend reading the book to find out!