February 7, 2014

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Lady Thief (Scarlet #2)
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Release Date: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC from publisher
First Reaction: O.O ... someone hold me this book brought all the feels and now I don't know what to dooooo.
Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

Scarlet and the gang are back and things are crazier than ever. First of all, Rob may love Scar, but he's also plagued these crazy, terrifying PTSD nightmares from going to war and his time in the torture chamber that cause him to physically assault whoever tries to wake him up. Then there's John who spends half this book being all "John" about everything, which is stressful. Not to mention, Gisbourne is back from his travels and is insisting that if Scarlet wants an annulment she'll come live with him while Prince John and his mama are in town. Basically this book is a recipe for gasps and feels and tears.

Why this book is the best:

You guys. This book has everything going for it. The drama, tension, sads, wins, and swoons are all there in full force. Like, each individual feel listed is evoked to the max. You'll be tearing up/gasping in the first 5 pages, melting from the passion at least three times throughout the book, cheering happily and shouting angrily at intervals, and all around holding your breath throughout. I honestly can't remember that last time I was so invested in a book. All of the emotions were so real and so perfect that I'd say, even if Scarlet wasn't your favorite and you were going to put this one on hold for a bit, you should still pick up Lady Thief ASAP. Like, even if it was Scarlet's grammar that put you off or this isn't your genre, get over it and read. this. book. Because I just can't even think of what feels-y book to equate this one to.

Of course, these feels are partially character driven. Like, have you met Scar? She's this awesome, badass cross-dresser who has to fight for her freedom and sense of self worth. She's always up against something so much bigger than her - things she's run from in the past - and she finds a way to face these things head on because she's grown to understand the importance of doing just that. And then there's Rob, who is the reluctant leader. He doesn't want anything he finds on his plate and yet he (reluctantly - thanks for the encouragement, Scar) takes it on, all while battling his own demons.

Honestly, Scar and Rob are the most troubled YA characters I've met in a long time. The way their broken pieces fit together to make this perfect whole you never want to see separate is just so brilliant. It's like, as you read, your heart slowly creeps up into your throat solely because of how much you just want them to live happily ever after and it gets stuck there because it can never just be easy for these two brilliant characters. And then said heart is permanently stuck there at the end of book two because NO MY GOD.


Much and John Little also shine in this book. I love them. I also can appreciate Gisbourne after this installment of the series. He remains a human being I want no contact with ever, but I understand him better. I also understand Prince John. Another total psycho, but yeah, I get his motivations. So that's two brilliant, 3D villains, HURRAY. Also, Prince John's mom. Her character is so carefully and wonderfully developed, I just cannot.

But the Queen really feeds into the plot excellence. I'm not going to get into the specific because hi spoiler-y goodness, but the twists totally up the stakes. Like, more than the twists in the first book did. Which is part of the ante that is upped in this book. It's like, after book one you thought things couldn't get any crazier or intense but then there's book two and everything plot-wise really is crazier and more intense. To say I'm scared of book three is probably an understatement, but I'm probably going to lose my mind waiting for it because oh the anticipation. Seriously. The tension mounted during the book and is continuing to mount as I wait for the final installation in this book.

Bottom line post all of this gushing: If you haven't started this series yet you are doing all of the wrong things. Even if this isn't your jam, get on it. And accept the grammatical choices, okay? They're so worth it, especially as you get to know Scarlet even better than you did in the first book.

The long and short of it?

Plot: UUUUGGGGGGHHHHH MY FEELS WITH THE PLOT TWISTS STOP IT (no, but don't, I can't get enough).
World Building: I couldn't love how this series fits with the Robin Hood story more if I tried.
Character Development: Rob and Scarlet are real people, right? (Because the character development is so perfect and true-to-life that they have to be real people.)
Prose: This book makes me not even care about grammar.
Would I Recommend This Book?: I don't care who you are, where you're from, don't care what you did as long as you read this series and love it. (That's right, I pulled out the Backstreet Boys you guys know I mean business now.)

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS BOOK? I don't know if you are. But feel free to leave your questions, comments, and concerns in the comments below. Or your gushing feels if you've already read it and need a support group to tide you over until book three.