Jun 062014
Genevieve Reviews: WayfarerWayfarer (Tales of Beauty & Madness #2) by Lili St. Crow
Published by Razorbill on Mar 6, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Ellie Sinder is a Charmer—the most powerful of her age that St. Juno’s Academy has ever seen. But Ellie’s stepmother, Laurissa, wields manipulation and abuse to force Ellie to work her spells ever more intensely, for Laurissa’s profit.

Then a train from over the Wastelands arrives in New Haven, bearing on it golden boy Avery Fletcher, newly returned from prep school, wearing a sweater Ellie’d love to bury her face in and a smile as bright as his blond hair. Avery’s arrival sets Laurissa off on a dark and dangerous scheme—and this time the soul up for grabs is Ellie’s.

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

There were lots of things to like about Wayfarer. I’m a fan of reinventing fairy tales, and this one is definitely puts an original twist on Cinderella. Her take on the fairy god mother was fantastic. The book is dark and funny at the same time, and I really enjoyed the author’s quirky and descriptive writing style.

Ell as a character is likeable, despite the fact that sometimes she misreads things so badly I just want to shake her. I ended up liking the fact that she was determined and trying to do things on her own. Also, I think it’s a good representation of someone who has been emotionally and physically abused. It seems so easy to Ell’s friends for her to just leave home, but it’s not that simple for Ell. After years of being told she’s worthless and unwanted, she starts to believe it. She feels like an outsider in her own home. It’s an interesting struggle as she tries to reclaim some of her self-worth and it really made me feel for her character.

The plot was very exciting and I tore through this book in less than a week. It’s very engrossing and it’s hard to guess what will happen next.

There were some things I didn’t totally love. The romance was fine but I thought it could have been a little more developed. I also wish Ell’s friends had been in the book more.

The book takes place in a sort of dystopian world, but the big event that changed the world wasn’t a nuclear bomb or war, it was more like an explosion of magic. People like Ell have Potential, and so they can do things like magically charming shoes and dresses to look a certain way. It’s really, really interesting and I liked it a lot. But somehow I didn’t realize that this book was the second in a series, so I felt a little lost in this new world at first (I’m guessing there’s more worldbuilding in book one, Nameless). That said, I could still understand things and I liked the book a lot even without knowing the first story. And now that I’ve finished this book, I’m definitely going to go back and read Nameless.

About Reviewer: Genevieve

Genevieve is an occasional reviewer at Workaday Reads. She lives in Boston with her fiancé, and loves reading books that transport her to other worlds or introduce her to new cultures. Her favorite genres are YA fantasy and crime thrillers.

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