Lions and Tigers and Boys by Tawny Stokes

Posted January 6, 2018 by lenoreo in NetGalley ARCs, Reviews / 2 Comments

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Lions and Tigers and Boys by Tawny StokesTitle: Lions and Tigers and Boys
Author: Tawny Stokes
Published by: Entangled: Crave
Release Date: January 8th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 247
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: Lenoreo's 2018 AtoZ Reading Challenge, Lenoreo's 2018 Netgalley and Edelweiss Challenge, Lenoreo's 2018 New Release Challenge, Lenoreo's COYER Winter Switch 2017/18
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My rating: three-half-stars

Blurb:

The last thing a girl as awkward as Dani Gale should be doing is trying to learn the high wire. Yet that’s exactly where Dani ends up—at OZ, the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts. Trying to overcome her shyness is near impossible when her new partner—the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, and whose touch seems to give her poise she thought impossible—also seems to be sabotaging her progress.

The last thing Cai Coppersmith needs is a distraction, especially in the form of the new, cute shy girl. He needs to focus on trying not to shape-shift into a tiger on school grounds, and completing his mission to keep Dani from winning the school’s high-wire competition. In fact, the entire safety of OZ is relying on Dani not succeeding. But there’s something about the girl that draws him in. She has magic, he can feel it. So he’ll do what he can to protect her, even if it means pushing her away.

My Review:

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

3.5 stars — Well that was definitely entertaining!  I expected a bit of a more dramatic climax, but that could have been just me.  I am definitely intrigued to know where the series is going to go though, and how it’s all going to shape up.  And if I find out this is actually NOT a series with that ending, well, then this rating would go down.  I was left with a LOT of questions, but at least I got some satisfaction with Dani and Kai.  I would have preferred to also have a bit more information about the supernatural world stuff, but oh well.  But I do believe it is a mistake to not advertise this as a series, as it’s very confusing for both new readers going in, and readers once they’re finished.

I was not really a fan of Dani at the beginning.  I get that she was a teenager and all, but she did not start off on the right foot with the reader with how whiny and moody she was in the car with her Dad.  I’m not entirely sure what that was all about, it didn’t persist too much in the rest of the story, so it felt really out of place.  I was a bit confused with her past as well…at one point it felt like her mother had *just* died (like perhaps in the last year), and then later in the book she said it was a few years ago.  I understand that this might have been cleaned up between my ARC copy and the final copy, I sincerely hope so.  I guess I just couldn’t get a really good gauge on how she was processing her grief, and I wanted a more well-rounded look at who she was.

If I let some of that go, then I liked how hardworking and determined Dani was.  She seemed pretty strong, mostly not letting the bullying get to her much.  I did feel for her and how frustrating it must have been to have so much working against her.  She was pretty naive though, I couldn’t believe she didn’t question the Dean’s mind reading, or basically anything magical she observed.  I don’t mind that she was so accepting, especially with Kai…she was bright and inquisitive, and could be really positive sometimes.  But some more questioning would have been nice.  I loved her friendship with her roommate Anna, who was seriously delightful.  You could really feel how much she cared for her, and wanted what was best for Anna.

I liked Kai more than Dani for the most part.  He had his own flaws, and he could feel a bit flat himself at times, but when he shone through he really shone.  I loved the way he observed people at the school, and was trying to make better decisions.  I liked how he developed as the story went on, and finally stood up for what was right.  And as an animal lover, I ADORED the moments with Ozzy and Loki.  I liked his friendship with Leander as well, but not as much as Dani and Anna’s friendship.

I thought Dani and Kai together were pretty cute actually.  I love the crush feelings they both had for each other, and the connection they seemed to develop.  Cute is just kind of the perfect word for it.

As for the world elements, well, I was a bit let down.  I’m intrigued by where it’s going, but I kind of wanted more.  This isn’t really a retelling so much as an expansion on the world somehow…though I can’t really tell you how, b/c we really just got some tastes here and there and barely any answers.  And there really were not a lot of redeeming adult characters in this book.  I did like Dani’s high wire teacher though, even if she was in a tough position.  And same for Frank.

Maggie has me confused.  She’s a very typical mean girl, and I totally get the play with her last name.  But occasionally it felt like maybe you were supposed to feel a bit bad for her…but it wasn’t really enough to accomplish that.  I guess I’ll reserve judgement, but I wouldn’t mind some gray areas…those always make the bad guys more interesting and three dimensional.

So yeah.  It has promise.  I felt like there were a lot of areas that could have been tightened up, but it definitely intrigued me enough to want to know where the story is going.

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