A Court of Thorns and Roses
Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first of a series, is an engrossing YA fantasy with an exciting plot and lots of action. It is very loosely based on the Beauty and the Beast story, which gives it a familiar feel, but it also contains some lovely twists and turns.
I would give a synopsis, but it is a difficult plot to explain--especially if one doesn't wish to give spoilers. Suffice it to say that there is a strong-willed heroine who fights fairy creatures, falls in love, and makes difficult choices. There is also a handsome fairy Lord, a curse that needs lifting, and a sadistic Queen.
Yes, these are all standard fantasy cliches, but Maas writes well enough to give life to the story. Her characters had backstories that explained their actions in a credible way, and the plot progressed in a believably. Despite it being over 400 pages, I read it quickly and was completely immersed in that world while doing so. I cared for the characters and was interested in what would happen next. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Note: This book contains graphic, consensual sex scenes.