Title: For Your Heart (Retellings #1)
Authors: A.L. Davroe
Acquired Via: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Release Date: October 31, 2013
Experience THE BALLAD OF TAM LIN like you’ve never read it before…
It has been seven years since Jeanette Sauderheim followed her best friend into Carver Hall Park...and came out alone. Jeanette has never gotten over his mysterious disappearance nor has she gone back into the park. While that traumatic night still haunts her, Jeanette distracts herself by balancing her time between trying to pass Spanish, hanging out with her friends, and reading the latest manga.
But, when a promise to a friend drives her back into the park, she's forced to re-live the memories of that night. Lost and confused, Jeanette crosses paths with Tamrin, whose violent reaction to her provides yet another reason to avoid the park.
Tamrin, a knight of the Summer Court, has been sent to Earth to guard a garden of roses that hold special meaning to the queen of the Summer faeries. When his distraction at meeting Jeanette leads to her picking one of the Summer Queen’s roses, Tamrin vows to right his failure to do his duty.
However, the equivalent of one of the queen’s roses is a human heart and Tamrin’s reluctance to readily exact the sum from Jeanette sets in motion a spiral of love, betrayal, and magic that could mean damnation for them both.
I haven't read books with fairies as the main "supe" (supernatural/paranormal creature), so I was very excited for the opportunity to review For Your Heart. Finding out that the book was written by A.L. Davroe, whom I met and enjoyed listening to at Authors After Dark in New Orleans, was double the icing on the cake. I have never read any of the Tam Lin stories previous to For Your Heart, so I was able to experience this reimagining of the "fairy tale" repurposed with no expectations.
I suppose I should clarify that I am judging For Your Heart a little less harshly than I would a book that was not a retelling of a myth, fairy tale or fable. There are aspects of the story that I think are a bit much for young adult readers (I think this should be marketed as “New Adult”, if it is not), yet they are necessary to remain true to the nature of the Tam Lin story. (I did very light research on who Tam Lin to see from which mythos he sprang.) Without spoiling the novel, I will say that there was a lot of focus on sex by the characters, though tastefully done.
Jeanette, the story’s heroine, is a teenager who goes to a private school and is having some trouble getting over the disappearance of her childhood best friend seven years previous to the story. I liked Jeanette a lot, but it made me sad that she was having so much trouble getting over the loss of her friend, Timmy. It does say a lot about her as a person, because she has such a big heart. Though it's hard on her and would be easier for her to do otherwise, she is good to people who honestly don't deserve it. Her friend, Celeste is a rancid bitch, but Jeanette still keeps an open mind. Tamrin makes it perfectly clear that he's going to torture and kill Jeanette, but she brings him around her buddies. No, Tamrin isn't one of THOSE love interests. He doesn't try to harm or intimidate Jeanette. In fact, he wants her to be healthy and happy so her heart will be in excellent condition when he takes it.
There is quite a bit of religious undertones in For Your Heart, which was surprising to me. Jeanette is a Catholic and goes to a private Catholic school, but I was not expecting what came across as preaching in certain parts of the book. While I respect that abortion and premarital sex was discussed in the book, all of the talk of sin made me a little wary of the story. *shrugs* I guess it was important to the world-building, but I'd like to know that I'm walking into Christian territory when I start the journey.
If you're looking for a book about fairies - or a New Adult novel that's more than just sex and kissy-face covers - I recommend For Your Heart. There's nothing else that I've ever read that I can compare it to, and I look forward to reading more books by A.L. Davroe.
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About the Author
A.L. Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. Her debut YA paranormal romance novel, FOR YOUR HEART, releases October 31, 2013. By day, she lives in Connecticut her two feline hench-creatures. She’s a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she’s a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. She also wears Vibram five-finger toe shoes and corsets...Though not always in the same ensemble. She’s a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a digital copy of the book for reviewing purposes through Reading Addiction Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was provided by the author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.