Jan 7, 2014

Review--Briar Rose by Jana Oliver


And now, because of a family curse, she's living one. Doomed to fall asleep for a hundred years on her sixteenth birthday, Briar has woken up in the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of--miles away from the safe, boring small-town life she has left behind.

Briar must fight her way out of the story, but she can't do it alone. She always believed in handsome princes, and now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up...

OOOOH how I LOVED Jana Oliver's Briar Rose! A truly magical and enchanting tale that is the kind of story I've only been dreaming about! (Seriously, I even tried my hand at something like this once, but it was one from middle school days and it fell short) But this one doesn't even compare to what I could've imagined! It was truly a remarkable tale and a read for all fans of fairy tales!

True to the word, Briar Rose believes in fairy tales. There is a family cursed put on her, one she doesn't learn of until she's nearly sixteen and the curse will take action. Luckily, thanks to her best friend's great grandmother, the curse doesn't kill her, but puts her into a deep sleep where she must fight through a nightmare...or a dream? and survive.

Much of the story is in Briar's dream. There she finds herself in, what I like to call fairytale world. And this world is as dark and gritty as we can get with good ol' Grim. She meets a stable boy, Ruric, who might be something more. He helps her in adjusting to this new world and keeping her safe. The princess Aurora has been put into an enchanted sleep and her governess has been ruling the kingdom, but she is not a nice woman and pretty much is the definition of evil villainess in our fairy tale stories.

But Briar isn't alone, as her friends come to her aid! It really was a magical kind of read, because there really was so much magic involved! It has all the elements of fairy tales that I have grown to love over the years. And did I mention, there's a family feud that's been ongoing between Briar's family and that of Joshua Quinn--a guy who may or may not be crushworthy material? Well, there is one! So it's not quite a spin like Romeo and Juliet with all tragic endings and whatnot, but there is a feud. Not really much of a forbidden love either as the two, who used to be friends, haven't had much to do with one another in recent years, but naturally, there is something more going on between them then we realize.

Only thing is, Ruric is quite the catch and it might be possible that Briar doesn't want to leave her dreamworld. It does get pretty intense!! Oh my goodness, I cannot even describe in accurate words how AWESOME and AMAZING this read was! And can we talk about character growth as well? And not that just of Briar, but of a particular guy named Pat. He starts out as an asshat--a term I do believe Briar's best friend used--but since he mistakenly gets pulled into the rescue mission, we get to see a whole different side to this guy. And while he may be still somewhat of an asshat, he does begin to grow and change and that is the true magic of fairy tales!

The pacing to this one was pretty much perfect. We get a glimpse of what Briar's life is like for a normal day or two and then she is sucked into "fairy tale world." And that's when all the excitement and enchantment happens! *Sorry, I can resist using fairy tale like adjectives in this review! There's truly never a dull moment. It's all third person point of view, but it hops from different character. For the most part we get Briar, but Reena--he best friend, Joshua, Ruric and even Pat get a few point of view moments in the story. 

This is truly the one of the greatest reads I've read! I have always loved fairy tales and having a novel that takes fairy tales and collides with the real world is the stuff of dreams! (Of course there was the mini series The 10th Kingdom that brought me this too, but that was years ago!) I cannot even begin how highly to recommend this read! I truly, truly urge to all those who read and loved fairy tales to read this book! It's quite the enthralling tale!!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars


  1. Tnx for the review. I love fairy tale retellings. I need this book. Must read *going superbookgeek Saiyan *

  2. Great review! I love fairytales and adored Jana Oliver's Demon Trapper series. I'll definitely try this one!

    Zareena @ Books and Books

  3. Wow, how have I missed this one? it looks great! I am so happy to see that you loved it and that the pacing was good. I have been very into fairy ales lately too. I just love to see what the newer authors can do with them.

    Thanks for sharing a new book with me ;0

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  4. Wow, 5 stars? I have to get this one! It's a shame that more people don't know about Jana Oliver or her brilliant Demon Trapper's series...

  5. Wow, what an great review! Thank you so much! I really loved writing Briar's story because I got to muss with a classic fairy tale. It doesn't get any better than that.

  6. That sounds really interesting, definitely would want to see how the book is written while being in someone's dream. I read something like that - book called Lucid. It was actually very interesting so I'm sure I would like this as well. Amazing review Jessica!

  7. Wow, this sounds really incredible. I borrowed it from work but didn't end up reading it and ended up taking it back. Really regretting that now, will have to hunt it down again! :)

  8. When I saw the cover and title of this book, I knew I had to read the blurb right away. I have always loved this story so I'm really interested to read this. Thanks for the great review!


Comments are an award all on their own! So my blog is an award free one! Thanks for any consideration though!