Read & Chill-A-Thon PROMPT #1: Fave Trope in YA Lit

The Read & Chill-A-Thon is hosted by Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca and Malanie @ Malanie Loves Fiction. This readathon consists of four prompts and runs throughout the month of November. The goal is to take it easy and read as much or as little as you want.

PROMPT ONE: Read a book featuring your favourite trope. 

Since Mandy and I both decided to tackle this super fun read-a-thon, we decided to combo our reviews (while still reading different books) to avoid spamming our followers with posts. Get ready to see what our fave tropes are, and the books we picked that feature them!


I don’t want to say it’s my favourite trope (I have this thing where I hate picking number ones because I seem to believe it’s then set in stone and people will hold the choice over me forever) but I really enjoy the forbidden love trope. […] With that in mind, I’ll be reading The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. (from November TBR list).

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

Title: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Pages: 392

Released: May 16, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Format: Hardcover (but I used the paperback cover because 😍)

Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 3.94 (of 22,866 ratings)

Review: The worst and absolute worst thing that can happen to a reader (in my quite humble opinion) is to read a fantastic book/series by an author, seek out the author’s other works, and feel let down even though the other work is great because that very first read has reached untouchable status. I was and still am in love with The Wrath & the Dawn and shamefully compared Flame in the Mist more than once during my reading. Mariko is no firecracker Sharhzad, but that isn’t a bad thing.

In Flame in the Mist, Mariko is en route to wed her (pre-arranged) betrothed, Prince Raiden when her convoy is attacked and brutally slaughtered. Mariko barely escapes and decides to dress as a boy and infiltrate the Black Clan, which she suspects responsible for the attack. Mariko’s character was a two-sided coin for me: I loved her moments of cunning but quickly grew frustrated with her indecisiveness. Too many times she made a decision, then backtracked and succumbed to a “should I, shouldn’t I” that went on for too many pages.

When Mariko did settle on action, she was very intuitive. Her compassion for the people around her, regardless of circumstance, made her quickly likeable. Another aspect of the book that bears mention is the romance. I enjoyed it, there’s no denying that. It was forbidden! There’s a slow build and the pair hover between antagonistic and sparring friends before acknowledging their mutual attraction. It was perhaps a bit too antagonistic before the romance fully blew up, considering one aspect of the relationship was “we always lie to each other okay let’s kiss now” but I’m interested to see how the sequel develops the pair.

A lot of mysterious subterfuge is going on in the background of this book. Halfway through magic starts to kick in and play tricks on people’s mind and there are whispers of treason and moves for the throne. Sometimes the plot actually did echo The Wrath & the Dawn (especially that ending). There are too many standout characters to simply compare the two, though, and I wish terribly I hadn’t. (Ranmaru, Yumi, the Empress (????)). While I really enjoyed this, I am expecting a bit more from the sequel. Finally rating is 4.5 crowns. 



I don’t want to say it’s my favourite trope (I have this thing where I hate picking number ones because I seem to believe it’s then set in stone and people will hold the choice over me forever) but I really enjoy the forbidden love trope. […] With that in mind, I’ll be reading The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. (from November TBR list).


Title: Sea Witch
Author: Sarah Henning
Pages: 368

Released: Katherine Tegen Books
Publisher: July 31, 2018
Format: Audiobook

Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale retelling
Goodreads Rating: 3.7 (of 3,200 ratings)

Review: 3.5 crowns!

I think if this book was like it was for the last 29% of the book, this rating would be a total different story. The last two discs of the audiobook brought the fire and I was all for it. Before that, though? It was quite a bit lackluster, and like, I couldn’t figure out how this was supposed to be the backstory of the epic and sassy Ursula.

This book is a part fairytale retelling, part origin story. I didn’t realize the fairytale retelling part was going to play as big of a part, but it was quite a surprise. However, this is a land of magic, mermaids, true love, and royalty. It definitely has the makings of its own fairytale, but it did get a bit lost in translation a few times. I think the issue came with the pacing. It wanted to unfurl much like a fairytale with a few huge twists and turns, but it really just dragged on and on for a while. The last 30% flew by and brought so much greatness, but the first part was quite dry.

Jasmine is really wondering why Ariel isn’t here. Me too, Jasmine, me too.

The characters were a bit bleh. They were well enough, but just meh for most of the time. I never really felt a deep connection with them, and I really can’t give you characteristics of them. Evie was a good enough narrator, but I guess I wanted a little bit more from the famed Sea Witch. The rest of the gang were okay from the princes and Anna.

The writing was okay as well. I felt like sometimes it was trying a little too hard to be like a fairytale. As I mentioned, pacing was a little off sometimes. I give Henning major props, though, for giving me some major twists at the end that I didn’t see coming that did redeem the story for me at least.

Also, I will recommend not reading this book as an audiobook. I wasn’t personally a fan of how the narrator read certain things, and it’s not quite worth it to me.

3.5 crowns and a Jasmine rating!


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Have you read either of these books? Do you agree/disagree with our thoughts? What is your favourite bookish trope? Let’s discuss!





17 thoughts on “Read & Chill-A-Thon PROMPT #1: Fave Trope in YA Lit

  1. Oooh, forbidden love is in so many of my favorite series! Your picks sound super interesting, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooh I’m so happy you wrote up the challenges like this. It makes me want to do a second round of this read-a-thon. 🙂 Love watching you ladies participate!!

    I absolutely love Flame in the Mist, it’s one of my favorite books I’ve read last year. I loved Mariko so much ❤ I haven't read Sea Witch but I'd also be wondering where Ariel was too 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YAY Sha!! I’m glad you enjoyed Flame, I have yet to read it but I am totally looking forward to it!! And Mandy, I had high hopes for Sea Witch, I mean Ursula origin story…but meh characters are not for meeeeeeee..
    My favourite trope….enemies-to-lovers (and the whole in-between process) but I love like the secret princess/royalty/magical powers trope. I live for that, I can honestly admit it is way overdone….but I love it! XD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can see you’re comment about the sea witch! I also listened to this on audiobook, and listened to the first hour twice since it was really confusing haha!
    The ending was definitely the past part of the book!
    But personally I liked that only at the end of the book you can see how it relates to Ursala!


    Liked by 1 person

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