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February 15, 2015

Double Review: The Kiss of Deception & Heartbreak Cafe

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)
Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Fantasy)
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 489
She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
The Kiss of Deception was one of my most anticipated titles of 2014. I bought it as soon as it came out but unfortunately only got the chance to read it in January of 2015. I ended up buddy reading this and I must say that without the buddy read, it might have taken me ages to get through. It wasn't that it was slow.. per say.. it was just that once you find out who the prince and the assassin are (which I guessed correctly), it got boring. You find out halfway through the book.. and throughout the last half.. nothing significant happens.. and all you're waiting on is the next exciting chapter that the book promised. I was disappointed in the twist (which I don't think was a twist) in regards to who was who.. and I was disappointed in the direction the author took after that was revealed. 
I think the main protagonist, Lia, is selfish. There i've said it. romanticizing her situation and making her appear sympathetic isn't really going to deter my opinion. I get that she got the short end of the stick.. but an arranged marriage to keep two kingdoms at peace and not begin a war seems like a good enough reason for the sacrifice. It is like saying her happiness is equalled to the deaths of hundreds of people (soldiers, innocents, etc). It just frustrates me that she wasn't even asked to sacrifice her life.. it is an arranged marriage that may lead to love. And since we know one of the two handsome men is the prince… which she thought were both potential partners, I don't think it is far fetched to believe that. This whole plot was built on the selfishness of Lia and if I only rated the book on the character, I would have given it a 1 or 2. 
I did enjoy the first half of the book.. while I felt there was too little dialogue and we were told everything about the world either through Lia's memories or her just telling the readers. I wish the pacing of the book was more fast paced. However, I did enjoy it overall and I think many people would like the format of the book. 
No Experience Required (Heartbreak Cafe, #1)
Title: No Experience Required (Heartbreak Cafe, #1)
Author: Janet Quin-Harkin
Publisher: Ellingstar Media 
Publication date: April 21, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 224
It’s 1989. Life's easy for DEBORAH LESLEY: she's up-market, drives her own flash car to school, and looks pretty good too. She's never had a job, either; but now her parents have split up, and she needs the money.

JOE GARBARINI is cool. He likes motorbikes, girls, and fun. He doesn't have time for much — he's running Heartbreak Café when he's not at school.

The Heartbreak Café is a noisy hangout on the north Californian coast. Joe's worked there for years, and knows what it takes. He's sure Debbie won't last a month — but Debbie's determined to put up with his wisecracks and prove him wrong. 
This book was published in 1989 and It really shows. I loved the easy breezy feel of the book. Rich girl's parents get divorced and she now has to get a job to keep her car by paying her insurance. I think this felt more middle grade than young adult and sometimes the main protagonist, Debbie, seems a bit too childish to be a senior in high school. 
It is a short book, but it was a quick fun read. It was fun seeing how Debbie managed her first ever job and her banter with the love interest.. though I think sometimes they took it way too far and the jump from hating each other to having feelings for each other was a bit too sudden. One thing though.. the overuse of exclamation points really annoyed me. An exclamation point follows the end of every sentence Debbie says! it got super awkward to read it because she would get excited over the most normal things! see? not fun. 
This is part of a series, and I would definitely recommend it to younger teens who want something light and fluffy to read. It reminds me of The Babysitter's Club as well as Sweet Valley books.


  1. Awesome reviews Juhina :D The Kiss of Deception was a two star read for me.. I didn't find it exciting either :p And yess. I really disliked Lia :\ Sad face. But glad you still enjoyed parts of it :) Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  2. Wasn't the biggest fan of Kiss of Deception either, I have to say. The combination of the love triangle and the lack of an intriguing plot line did nothing for me. Thanks for these honest reviews, dears! :)

  3. I recently read The Kiss of Deception too, and I'm not ashamed to say I fell into their trap and guessed wrong. Oops! I liked Lia, but you're right, when you think of the bigger picture she is a very selfish person. I can forgive that however because I think it's going to be a more interesting story down the line than if she'd stuck with the arranged marriage. Great honest reviews :)

  4. I also wasn't blown away by The kiss of deception (such a shame though, I love the cover and now I'm not sure if I want to buy a copy or not..) Her decision also felt a bit selfish to me. It's not like her parents tried to marry her off just to get rid of her.

  5. Awww, I'm sorry you didn't love The Kiss of Deception! I can see what you mean about Lia being selfish. I actually knew who was who in terms of the men, which was pretty sweet. I hope she sticks with the prince...

    Anyway. Awesome reviews, Juhina!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  6. I remember you talking about this on Twitter and I'm always glad to see other people who didn't like this book either. I DNF it! I got about halfway through but I just didn't care what happened to these characters. I agree, she was being totally selfish....The only thing I thought was interesting was the tattooing in the first chapter. I thought it was gong to be amazing.

    I read a review of Recaptains because I was a bit curious about how it ended. I was surprised at the twist. I was confused when I read it because I didn't see that coming. But still not many people have said negative things about this book and I'm glad not to be alone.

  7. Whew. Fantasy is not my thing but all the raves have convinced me to try The Kiss of Deception. Now, I'll mull over getting it again. But I think I'll pass on it and it's a series too so no. Your review didn't shy away from saying the meh stuff. Thanks for the honest review, Juhina!