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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BBReview: "The Alder Tales1: Blossom and the Beast" by R.S. McCoy

Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal/Romance/Re-telling
Publisher: Self Published
Publishing Date: May 31, 2016
Page Count: 320
Source: Senf for Review
Format: E-book

Description from Goodreads.com:
*A paranormal romance retelling of Beauty and the Beast*

Blossom Frane is only weeks away from her transformation. On her eighteenth birthday, she’ll find out her future branch of society and her totem, the animal form she’ll be able to take at will for the rest of her life. Like her brothers, she’s expected to be a brown bear of the religious branch known as Terra.

In the Alderwood forests, Blossom’s bear blood is a valuable asset. Any day now, a rival clan leader will step forward and offer her father a hefty bounty in exchange for her hand in marriage. Blossom can do nothing more than sit back and wait to be traded to the highest bidder.

Determined to spend her last weeks exploring the Alderwood, Blossom sneaks away and manages to find Kaide Landel, a rising political star of the Pyro branch. Known for his violence and disregard for the religious teachings of the Terra branch, he’s all wrong for the bear clan’s prized daughter. But when the politician uses his wealth and influence to secure her hand, Blossom has no choice but to leave her family and marry him—if she lives that long.
Review:
Let's first start with how this is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, and how I absolutely loved it. It was seriously re-told perfectly. You have all of the characters including, Belle, the Beast, Gaston, Cogsworth, Lumiere, and Mrs. Potts. Some you really have to look for, but they are all there in their own way. Blossom and the Beast did an amazing job of being the tale of Beauty and the Beast while also staying true to itself and being its own, independent work. It was completely original with its own plot line, setting, and character aspirations while still having noticeable ties to B&B that were more of a reminiscent quality instead of a copy.

 It also had alternate points of view! You all know how much I love alternating P.O.V's, but just like in the Disney movie, this story truly needed them. Without seeing Kaide (or the Beast's) point of view, I seriously would not have liked him and the romance would have seemed rushed and confusing. It's just like in the movie. There are scenes where the Beast is talking to Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts for advice on how he can show Belle that he truly cares about her and doesn't see her as a prisoner or property. If we didn't have those scenes, Beauty and the Beast probably wouldn't have been a success.

Since we are on the topic, the romance was very well done. I feel like in the movie, there really isn't a good reason for Belle and the Beast to fall in love, but they do and we accept it. Most say it's Stockholm syndrome, I say it's true love. toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. I'm just kidding, but also kind of serious. In Blossom and the Beast, I really don't think it's Stockholm syndrome. Their feelings (well, at least on Blossom's part) take time, and they seem genuine. Kaide seems like a bad guy, because of who he is and what Blossom has been told her whole life. In reality Kaide really isn't a bad guy and he has real feelings for Blossom that he can't explain. I loved it.

This was a very well written story with complex plot lines and very well done characters. I absolutely loved all of them and found them to be believable as real people. They didn't seem like made up characters. Blossom is obviously my favorite, as she should be if the story is done right. I was behind her 100% and couldn't get enough of her. I want to know everything about her and Kaide.

And then there was the ending. HOLY CROW! I could honestly not believe what happened. I knew something bad was going to happen, but I didn't think what did, was going to. I'm not going to give any spoilers so for the next couple sentences I will seem to be talking in riddles until you read the book. I honestly wonder how much of what happened was orchestrated. I know the big, punishable under the law if you don't comply thing was orchestrated, but what Blossom experienced in the room seemed perfect for her. It really spoke to who she is and made a lot of sense. I know right now it doesn't make any sense to her and probably seems like it was all set up, but I think that was truly supposed to happen and that the bad guys just used it to their advantage.

Overall:
I absolutely loved this book! I could not get enough of it and seriously contemplated forgoing my responsibilities in order to keep reading it. I could not think of a better way to write this book. It was absolutely flawless and kept me reading from page one. I went through so many emotions with Blossom while reading this book (laughing, crying, smiling, swooning), and really felt like I was living all of this through her. I loved that this was a re-telling that stayed true to it's original-ness. It didn't feel like a copy, but more of a reminiscent, original piece of work. I cannot wait to get my hands on a finished copy, and more importantly to get my hands on book 2, Raene and the Three Bears! I highly, highly recommend you pick up this book! It is definitely going in my favorites!

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 5/5


**The books cover, description, and info was all found on Goodreads. A link back has been provided. All other work and ideas are of my own creation. This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

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