Book Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

Posted November 14, 2015 by love2dazzle in Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Book Review: Stray by Elissa SussmanStray by Elissa Sussman
Series: Stray #1
Published by HarperCollins on October 7th 2014
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Girls & Women, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audiobook, Hardcover, My Own
Buy on AmazonBuy on Book Depository

Epic, rewarding, and provocative, Elissa Sussman’s original fairy tale tells the story of Aislynn, a princess who misbehaves and must give up her royal trappings and enter a life of service as a fairy godmother. Booklist wrote, “Sussman delightfully mixed dystopian tension with retold fairy tales, and the result is something wholly original.”A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale is part coming-of-age story, part adventure, part sweet romance. Will Aislynn remain true to her vows and her royal family and turn away from everything she longs for? Or will she stray from The Path and discover her own way? Includes a recipe for Fairy Godmother Bookbinder Bread, and a map.

I am so in love with this book. I need the next installment ASAP. Plus the cover of these novels are amazing. I am in love! Oops already said that…anyway. Aislynn is such a great main character. There are so many sides to her. The last female character I was this enchanted with was America from “The Selection.” We all know how much I love that series. Aislynn is a maiden trying to figure out a way to hide her magic. Magic is a curse that only the women bear and they are supposed to keep it under control. Now maiden’s have to follow a specific set of rules or they are giving a new path to be on. This path is what guides a women through her place in society.

When the academy gets fed up with Aislynn and her powerful magic, they redirect her path to become a fairy godmother. Aislynn doesn’t completely understand what is going on but she has decided to embrace her new life. Aislynn is afraid of magic though so when she is supposed to use it as a fairy godmother, she has some issue trying to figure it out. She continues on getting punished for not reporting on her  maiden and for not being able to use her magic properly. Aislynn learns so much about herself and who she ends up discovering who she is.

It is frustrating to me that there is this entire society and no one seems to question what is going on. Why is it okay for fairy godmother’s to use magic but not maiden’s? Who on earth designed “The Path” and why is it so scary to the girls? What happens to the boys? Do they have a different sort of path to follow? I have so many  questions that need to be answered. Sussman kept me hanging on for dear life. I just wanted to know more and  more. I really did love this book. I think Sussman did a great job. Sussman has a very unique voice and I look forward to many more stories by her.

Sussman did a great job on the characters, especially Aislynn. She created this scared teenage girl and turned her into a warrior teenage girl in just one book. Aislynn has so many different sides to her and I want to keep learning more. I feel like Sussman has only shown me the tip of the iceberg. Aislynn is beginning to question the society that she has grown up in and I want to see how that turns out for her.

Thackery…I really like Thackery. I just wish he had a bigger role in the book. He really began to get Aislynn out of her shell and then he was gone. Even though other characters were familiar with her as being “Thackery’s Asilynn.” I want more than romance from Thackery. I really hope that he gets to play a more important role in this series and not just the love interest. I think Thackery is a very interesting character all on his own.

I love the sense of mystery that Sussman writes into this novel. There is this evil queen that is mentioned but she never truly comes to light. Everyone seems to now a story about her but nobody actually knows her. Who is the evil queen and what really happened to her? Is it the queen that is doing all these bad things or others that blame the circumstances on the evil queen? See I have so many questions. This is truly why I need book number two! I look forward to seeing how Sussman grows as an author. So far I am really impressed with her work.

As far as the audiobook goes, it took me awhile to get used to Caitlin Davies. Davies isn’t as entertaining as some of the other narrators have been. I ended up getting used to her and liked her narration in the end. I would definitely listen to the audiobook again. I actually really like having the audiobooks and the book copies so I can go between the different mediums.


About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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