Briar Rose by Jana Oliver: Book review

Briar Rose
Book title/ Author: Briar Rose by Jana Oliver
Publisher/ Year: September 12th 2013 Macmillan Children's
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Series: No
Pages: 470
Source/ Format: Paperback || Bought with my own money
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

*This review may contain spoilers!*


For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She's stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won't let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who's spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She's tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she's actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes... And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can't do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.

My review

I LOVE fairytale retellings so much, so I had quite high expectations for this book, and it didn't let me down!

I liked the small-town setting, and the whole stereotype that gossip gets around quickly, and that everyone knows about your business.

Briar on the whole was a good protagonist as she didn't let anyone speak for her, or control her. She did kick some butt in the end and I think on the whole she made some pretty difficult decisions that helped a lot of people. She never gave up and although she did annoy me occasionally, like when she bickered with Joshua, I liked her.

Immediately Joshua caught my interest and I really wanted to see what would happen between Briar and Joshua, as there was obviously some unresolved history between them. Although he did interest me, Joshua did annoy me at times and I actually found myself to be Team Ruric for the first half of the book. He just seemed really mysterious and dangerous, but also really respectful of Briar, instead of taking advantage of her being clueless, which I admired.

The slight alternating chapters between Briar & Joshua and Reena & Pat were insightful as I got to see both sides of the story, and then them finally all being brought together.

The whole metal element brought something new to the table and it was refreshing to see something more than just a fairytale retelling, however much I like them. I do like it because it adds a little twist that you aren't expecting and when it works, it's really good.

The final battle scene was pretty epic and I liked seeing everyone finally team up and take charge against the enemy. In Briar Rose, there was almost two endings because I do consider the battle to be the ending of one part of the story, and then when they came back home and everything got sorted there, that was the proper ending. It may have been a bit predictable but I didn't mind.

If, like me, you like fairytale retellings, I would definitely recommend this Sleeping Beauty one!



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