Monday, June 6, 2016

Tour Review/Giveaway!! Grimm and White, by Emily Ann Hansen



Welcome to 
the Grimm and White Blog Tour, 
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

For my stop, I'm featuring a review!
There's also a tour-sponsored giveaway!!



Grimm and White
(Heartless, Book 1)
Emily Ann Hansen
January 24, 2016
Cover Artist: Murphy Rae
Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retellings, Gothic Fiction,
New Adult Fiction, Paranormal Romance, 
 Urban Fantasy


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26146357-grimm-and-white


Note
This cover seriously ROCKS. 
Please see my post about it, HERE.




How far would you go to save your own life? 
Would you kill the one you love?

I want you to put your hand over your heart. Press down against the skin, meld your fingers into the flesh, and listen to the beats. Can you hear how that one organ is keeping you alive? One pump. Two pumps. Three.

Alice White Cabot would consider you lucky. She can press down in that same exact spot and she would feel … nothing. She is under the curse of the Heartless, and on her nineteenth birthday she will have to rip out the heart of the one she loves or she herself will die.

Kallin Grimm is a regular nineteen-year-old guy from the Chicago suburbs. He’s completely normal, except for the strength he can’t explain. Not to mention, Kallin is in love with a girl that he has never met. The only means of communication between the two of them is through two enchanted journals. Whatever is written in one can be seen in the other. For the past year Allie and Kallin have shared their secrets and their souls, which is why Allie knows they can never be together. It is the only way to keep his heart safe.

Enter the dark world of curses, secrets, and a history as old as time. The novel opens on Allie’s eighteenth birthday. With one year left, she, along with her best friend Miles, sets off from California to find out more about the curse, her past, and to stay as far away from Kallin Grimm as she can. Their first lead is in Chicago. Maybe this curse is stronger than she thinks. Tick-Tick-Tick.

Who would you choose?
 




Purchase Links

Print Edition
Amazon US/Amazon UK




Note
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this novel by the author, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The concept of this novel is definitely unique; I certainly have never come across anything like this before! Alice White Cabot is a Heartless; she literally has no heart, and is cursed to rip out the heart of the boy she loves, or die, on her 19th birthday. How this curse came about makes for a very interesting story, as well as a very imaginative one. It has to do with the Brothers Grimm, as well as with one of their most famous fairy tales -- that of Snow White.

Kallin Grimm is the boy Alice (known as "Allie") loves. Although he has never met her, he has come to love her because of the two magical journals through which they communicate. Allie feels the same way about him, but wants him to keep away. She's ready to die rather than take his heart.

Right from the beginning, this sounded to me like a very dark, as well as bloody tale. And sure enough, there are a few very gory scenes in the novel. In fact, I almost stopped reading because of them; after all, I have always been very fainthearted. Of course, I don't like the horror genre at all.

In spite of the above, I kept on reading. I simply skipped over the parts that dealt with anything that might make me feel either too scared, or even a bit queasy. It was the narrative itself, as well as the characters, that kept me going. Hansen is a very skilled writer; her plot is full of interesting, and totally unexpected, plot twists, and the voices of the two main characters, which alternate from chapter to chapter, kept me riveted to my Android cell phone (I have the Kindle app on the phone).

Hansen is also a master at creating atmosphere through her prose style. Although it tended to be dark and depressing, I must give her credit for it. She set out to write a dark fantasy tale, and she has definitely succeeded in doing so. 

Both Allie and Kallin are very compelling narrators, but I especially liked Kallin. He is a very sweet, kind, young man, and he's SO in love with Allie! He feels things very deeply. Besides, he is under a curse of his own -- he is inexplicably strong, and this led to a tragedy in his past, one that continues to haunt him.

I had mixed feelings about Allie, at first. There were times when it was easy for me to like her, but, at other times, I cringed at her snarkiness. She was not very nice to Miles, her best friend, on several occasions. He was always ready and willing to help her, and she often responded with biting remarks he really didn't deserve. 

I did like the fact that Allie was not one to take things passively. She became actively involved in trying to break the curse she was under. She was also very adamant about protecting Kallin, even after the two finally met in person. In spite of her less appealing qualities, she did indeed love Kallin. In short, I ended up liking her, because she was a totally kick-butt heroine!

Later on in the book, the romance between the two leads becomes more intense, as Allie does her best to fight off her love for Kallin, while he wants nothing more than to be close to her. I think the angst is what really kept me going; this reminded me very strongly of my beloved Twilight Saga, except in reverse. Here, it was the girl who was trying hard not to kill the one she loved. I was totally hooked on this aspect of the novel!

Connor, who is Kallin's 'quasi-friend', is another interesting character. Although he kept saying, throughout the story, that he was helping Kallin because certain things were hurting his 'business', I suspected there was more to him than that. He belonged to a rival group, and was really supposed to side with them. I was glad he was there for Kallin, instead.

Miles is a very kind guy, and deceptively innocent-looking. In fact, he turns out to be very knowledgeable about the curse, as well as about other things Allie had no idea he had even heard of. I really liked him! Undeterred by Allie's sarcasm, he remains right by her side throughout.

Allie's surviving relatives -- her grandmother, known as "Gram", and her aunts, Doris and Tabatha, (this name instantly reminded me of the old TV show "Bewitched") -- are very quirky, creepy, and paradoxically, funny ladies. They hold secrets about the curse that they don't reveal to Allie until almost the end of the novel. Yet, there's no doubt that they love and care for her.

The whole story of the curse unravels bit by bit, as Allie and Kallin go deeper and deeper into the strange new world they had never known about before. Perils abound, with a creepy scene in a graveyard that was mercifully short, and forays into the depths of the earth. 

It turned out that there was a real war going on, between rival factions, which means that there was a lot of fast furious action! This made the novel very exciting to read, especially as it got closer to the end.

Another thing I really liked about this book was Hansen's concept of magic. It's a rather complex one, as there are several ramifications to it, and she gradually unveils each one as the plot develops. I won't say more, so as not to spoil things for other readers. I will just add that I found it all totally fascinating!

Overall, this is a very interesting paranormal romance and urban fantasy, and I do recommend it for those who love these two genres. However, I would caution younger readers about this book. It's definitely not a YA read; I would categorize it as New Adult, instead.

Had it not been for the gory, gruesome parts, I would have given this novel a solid five stars. And it definitely does deserve at least four, due to the excellent writing and world-building!
 

MY RATING:                











Emily Ann Hansen is a writer currently living in Baltimore City. She grew up in Illinois and will always call Chicago home. She graduated from Columbia College, Chicago, with a B.A. in Fiction. She is a 9th-grade English teacher. She became a writer because she thinks that people should not have to look far to find magic in their lives. Her obsessions range from depressing poetry to one or ten cups of coffee a day. Grimm and White is her first novel.






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4 comments:

  1. Thanks for your honest review, Maria. Excited to read more of your posts!
    -Emily Hansen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Emily!

      You're very welcome! I'm so glad you liked the review! And thanks for the compliment about my blog posts!

      I would love to see Allie and Kallin's story continued! Sure hope you bring out a sequel! Or maybe even a series!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment!! :)

      Delete
  2. This one does sound unique! I wasn't sure it was one I'd be interested in, but I love paranormal romance and you say a lot to convince me to give it a try! Wonderful review! *hugs*

    ~Michele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Michele!

      Oh, it definitely is! I've never heard of anything like this before! You should definitely try it! Just keep in mind what I've said about the gory scenes.

      Thanks for the compliment on the review, and for the wonderful comment!! *HUGS* BACK!! <3 :)

      Delete

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