Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (Blog Tour)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (Blog Tour)The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Published by Delacorte Press on September 25, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Hey everyone! I’m beyond excited to be on the blog tour for The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White!! This book was SO good!! I hope you enjoy my review!


I hated reading in school (because it took away from my own personal reading time), but Frankenstein was one of the few books I was forced to read and actually loved. And as you guys know, I LOVE retellings – especially creepy/dark/twisted ones. So for me, this book was wickedly delightful, creeptastic and intriguing!

Elizabeth is a manipulative bullshitter, a charmer. She’s blunt and to the point. She’s mean, by her own admission. But I love it. She’s flawed and that’s okay. She does what she has to to survive. She has no use for anyone or anything that doesn’t help her or advance her in some way, but considering the time period she lived in, and the things women endured – what we saw her endure – I get it.

Victor is… a complete psychopath/sociopath. I mean, that’s obvious to anyone who has read Frankenstein. But seen from Elizabeth’s perspective, it’s even more obvious.

I adored Justine and her friendship with Elizabeth. She was the one person Elizabeth truly loved, and remained friends with for reasons other than selfish ones. I completely related to her, hardcore, for various reasons. Her fate broke my heart.

Another character I absolutely adored was Mary. I had a weird theory I was desperate to prove, but alas, we received no confirmation on this one. I still loved her. She was strong and fierce in the face of personal turmoil.

I loved the ending. It left things a bit open-ended. I don’t see there being a sequel, but it allows your mind to wander and come up with your own wild theories, re: what happened next.

As always, Kiersten’s writing was phenomenal. She’s one of my favorite writers – has been for years, and always will be. I’ll read anything she writes, and am especially excited for her upcoming novel, Slayer (I mean, I’m a HUGE Buffy fan, so this should come as no surprise!!).

This book felt different from some of Kiersten’s others, but in a good way. It had more of a gothic fiction/classic feel to it and I liked the pace and how things played out. I do wish the atmosphere had been a touch darker and creepier, and I wish there had been a bit more thriller/edge-of your-seat-type intrigue, but I still really enjoyed it.

The only thing that frustrated me was that I couldn’t remember enough of Frankenstein. And that’s NOT a point against this book, that’s just me remembering bits and pieces and flashes, and wishing I could remember more. I had some theories and it was hard to develop them when I couldn’t remember certain things (for example: why did I blank on who Henry Clerval was?!? I read Frankenstein like 3 times. The name rings a bell but ???). But again, that’s NOT a negative or a point against this book. I just wish I could have remembered, because I think it would have made certain things more intriguing.

Overall, I really really loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is already a fan of Kiersten White, as well as to anyone that loves horror, classics, retellings and especially – obviously – Frankenstein.


About the Author: 
KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the And I Darken series, comprised of And I Darken, Now I Rise, and Bright We Burn; the Paranormalcy series; Slayer, and many more novels. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further-away times.

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And now for the giveaway! Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN! US Only. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below!

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Blog Tour Schedule:

Week One:
10/15/2018 – Under the Book Cover – Review
10/16/2018 – Simply Daniel Radcliffe – Review
10/17/2018 – Novel Novice – Review
10/18/2018 – My Fangirl Chronicles – Review
10/19/2018 – Pandora’s Books – Review

Week Two:
10/22/2018 – Jessica Writes – Review
10/23/2018 – Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review
10/24/2018 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
10/25/2018 – Savings in Seconds – Review
10/26/2018 – Vicky Who Reads – Review

Week Three:
10/29/2018 – Smada’s Book Smack – Review
10/30/2018 – YA Books Central – Interview
10/31/2018 – For the Lover of Books – Review
11/1/2018 – Malanie Loves Fiction – Review
11/2/2018 – Oh Hey! Books. – Review

Week Four:
11/5/2018 – The Hermit Librarian – Review
11/6/2018 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
11/7/2018 – BookHounds YA – Review
11/8/2018 – Eli to the nth – Review
11/9/2018 – Portrait of a Book – Review


Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: And I Darken by Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken by Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Published by Delacorte Press on June 28th 2016
Pages: 484
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

I’ve been SO excited for this book ever since I first heard about it. A YA historical? YES, PLEASE! A “what if?” YA Historical? EVEN BETTER! But a YA “what if?” historical about Vlad the Impaler.. As a girl?!?! GIMME GIMME!!!!!!!!!!! And this book did NOT disappoint. I enjoyed it SO MUCH and I can’t wait for book two!

In a Q&A Kiersten did for her launch party at Mysterious Galaxy Books (and which was transcribed in Stacee’s recap on her blog, Adventures of a Book Junkie), Kiersten discussed the insane amount of research she did for this book – and it definitely shows! This book takes you back in time and makes you feel as though you’re living in the Ottoman Empire in the 1400’s-1500’s. It was so atmospheric, the story so richly detailed.. I fell into this world with ease.

The characters were intriguing and complex. It’s hard to say whether I liked them or not, but I don’t think the author’s goal was for the characters to be likable. It was more about understanding them and their actions and decisions. As Kiersten said in her Q&A for Mysterious Galaxy Books, “If you get to the end of the series and you’re wondering why you like [Lada], I’ve done my job.” This statement is SO TRUE – not just for Lada, for all the characters. But especially our main three: Lada, Radu and Mehmed.

To be blunt, Lada was bratty, scary, nasty, mean and stubborn.. She BITES people. But through all that, she’s fierce, feisty and determined. She refuses to let the fact that she’s a woman stop her from doing – and getting – what she wants.

Poor Radu started off as the runt of the litter – ignored, picked on and beaten up. But he changes SO MUCH, it’s not even funny. He goes from being a scared, crying, sheltered little boy to… This man. This strong, clever, cunning man with a heart of glass who covets what he can’t have. His boyishness still comes through at times. But otherwise, from beginning to end, he becomes a completely different person. His most interesting quality? The diplomatic way in which he talks himself into and out of various situations. He inserts himself into people’s lives and conversations in such a smooth way, they don’t even realize what he’s doing until it’s too late.

The unshakeable bond between Radu and Lada is proof that home is not a place, but that it is where your family is – and that family is what you make it. They might not have always shown it in words or gestures but they loved each other – and it was very endearing.

There were a LOT of other characters that I could talk about, but then we’d be here forever! So instead, I’m going to offer shout-out’s (whether for good reasons or not-so-good reasons) to: Bogdan, Nicolae, Nazira, Kumal, Lazar, Ilyas and Salih. I’m sure there are other characters I could shout-out, but these are the main ones I was either truly intrigued by or truly despised (give or take a few I left out).

Again, it’s hard to say whether or not I liked these characters, but I definitely liked their interactions with one another, as well as their various relationships. I especially loved the way Radu’s relationships – and everything that goes along with that – were handled.

I read a lot of mixed reviews about this book (before I read it) and I think I know why: This is unlike anything Kiersten has ever written. It’s pure historical fiction. That means it’s a little slow to get through because there’s SO much world-building involved. And I admit, it had a slow start and was a bit too long. But otherwise, it’s intriguing and absolutely a coming of age story – finding one’s place in the world, etc. And Kiersten did SUCH a great job with it.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell from my review, I LOVED this book SO MUCH and I CAN’T wait for book two – which you can get a sneak-peak of here! I HIGHLY recommend this for fans of historical and “what if?” historical. If you’ve read Kiersten’s previous books, prepare yourself for something COMPLETELY different than you’ve ever read from her before!


Review: Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Perfect Lies by Kiersten WhitePerfect Lies by Kiersten White
Series: Mind Games #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 18, 2014
Pages: 232
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them

I have loved every single book that Kiersten White has written and Perfect Lies is no exception! It was an amazing book and an epic conclusion to an epic duology.

Fia is one of my favorite characters in this series – Actually, one of my favorite characters of all time. There’s something cunning about her, yet she’s more disturbed by the things she was forced to do than she lets on. She’s smart and she thinks on her feet. Her mind works in odd ways, which is to be expected after everything she has seen and done. She’s a broken, slightly crazy femme fatale.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Annie in Mind Games. Her sections were a bit slow and a bit boring in comparison to Fia’s sections. But in Perfect Lies, Annie became more decisive and more of a fighter. She didn’t sit around, waiting for things to happen. Ultimately, it was her actions that set up the ending and made it the way it was.

I never trusted Rafael. Never, not for a single second. I didn’t even really like him because there was just always something about him that mad me wary. I wasn’t a fan of Nathan, either, though I could never really pinpoint the reason why. He just.. irked me. Almost creeped me out. Cole was the only one of the guys who I really liked and trusted. And in the end.. Well, I won’t spoil it. But.. Yeah. Go read it and see why.

Pixie was my second favorite character in Perfect Lies, after Fia. She was hysterical and I loved the oddball friendship between her and Fia. I kept hoping that she would end up being trustworthy. I didn’t want anything to happen to her. In the end, the direction her story went.. Well, again, I can’t say without spoiling it. So just go read it! It’s amazing, I promise!

My only real complaint is that, in the beginning, I had trouble keeping up with the timeline. I was fine with it in Mind Games, but it really threw me off at the beginning of Perfect Lies and it took awhile for me to figure out who was where and when, etc.

The ending nearly gave me a heart attack… Several times over. With every vision Annie had, I freaked out more and more. I had such a bad feeling. I mean, it would have been a fitting ending, considering, but it would have had me in hysterics. So let’s just say that the way the book ended…? I was VERY happy with it. I couldn’t picture it ending any other way. I was disappointed with a few characters at the end, though.. But that didn’t ruin the rest of the book for me at all. Considering who the characters were, their actions fit with their personalities and though it made me sad, any other course of action on their part would have felt false and would have gone against who they were.

Overall, Kiersten White did it again! Perfect Lies was fabulous in every way and though I’m sad we won’t have any more books with Fia and Annie, their story ended perfectly.

Favorite Quote (I won’t name drop here, so it doesn’t spoil anything):

“Sometimes you scare me.”
“That’s because you don’t really know me yet. When you really know me, I’ll scare you ALL the time.”


Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten WhiteThe Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Published by HarperTeen on September 10, 2013
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

When I first heard about this book, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I love Greek Mythology, but while I find Egyptian Mythology interesting, I wasn’t sure if it was completely my kind of thing.

But then I read it. And it really exceeded expectations. Also? The cover is really gorgeous!

The first half of the book was a little slow, and I had some trouble getting into it. Isadora was a fascinating MC in the beginning, though a little immature. At times, she rebelled against her parents, while at other times, she just acted like a brat towards them. Her character really matures throughout the book, though, and she experiences one of the greatest transitions/character arcs I’ve seen in YA in a long time.

I really enjoyed Isadora’s interior design skills. That aspect of her character made for fascinating reading. Instead of DESCRIBING a room, which gets boring since every book does it, Isadora told us how she would CHANGE the room, what she would remove and what she would bring in. It made it much more interesting to read!

The Egyptian Mythology in this book was so fascinating! Like I said, I’m more into Greek Mythology, but learning about the various Egyptian Gods and Goddesses was so awesome. It made me realize I love Egyptian Mythology just as much as Greek Mythology. Although there were a lot of Gods and Goddesses mentioned, and sometimes it was really hard to keep track of who was who. I kind of wish there had been a character guide in the back of the book to help me keep track.

I loved Ry. He was such a great love interest, for so many reasons. I REALLY WISH I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything. But he was pretty much the PERFECT love interest.

Other characters I loved: Sirus and Tyler were great. I loved their personalities, who they were in Isadora’s life and how they helped her throughout the story.

The second half of the book, as well as the ending, absolutely blew my mind and I just fell in love with the book. I was shocked, I was thrown for a loop and I did NOT expect certain things AT ALL. It was great! Sometimes, I can predict certain things in a book, and it was awesome to be surprised for once!

Overall, a great read. Slow in the beginning and you need to give Isadora a chance to grow on you (and she does!), but it really picks up halfway through and becomes an amazing, awesome read! I would DEFINITELY recommend it.