Blog Tour: Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel (Review & Giveaway)

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

37638219Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

Release date: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, fantasy

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Keeper of the Bees is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

I just finished reading Black Bird of the Gallows (a book that I thoroughly enjoyed) and was super excited to pick this novel up. Now, Keeper of the Bees is technically a companion novel to Meg Kassel’s debut, but can be read as a standalone. So, if you haven’t read Black Bird of the Gallows (which you really should) don’t worry. You can still completely enjoy everything about this book. 🙂

Before I start my review, I just want to say that originally I turned my nose up at Black Bird of the Gallows. I unfairly dismissed it as being too Twilight sounding and turned down a chance to review it when it was released last year. When I received the blog tour sign-up for Keeper of the Bees I was really excited because of the cover and synopsis. Then I made the connection and decided to give it a chance. I’m just really, really glad that I did. I’ve totally been missing out! Anyway…time for the actual review.

Things I Liked:

  • The book was very easy to read through and I was completely engaged from the first page until the very end. It really didn’t feel like I read 400 pages. I’ve lately been struggling with books longer than 300 pages. Why? I have no idea but I’ve been losing interest midway through and with this story that didn’t happen. I actually read it within a couple of day it was that good!
  • The story is told through multiple points of view. Sometimes this can get a bit confusing because the characters tend to sound too similar. However, I really enjoyed reading the two POVs. Both were totally unique and I never found myself wanting to skip over a certain chapter because it revolved around a particular character.
  • Adding on to the point above, I loved the two main characters! Essie was absolutely wonderful. Throughout the story she suffered from hallucinations and I liked how the author invited the reader into her head during these periods where she wasn’t fully in control. I felt like I really got to know Essie and sympathize with her struggles. Dresden was very interesting to read about because of his “curse”. My heart really hurt for him.
  • I liked the Beauty and the Beast vibes that the story gives off. The lesson or main idea is that we all have our issues or problems, things that we struggle with. We shouldn’t judge others based on what we initially see because underneath there is great beauty. The romance between Essie and Dresden really went up against the odds and I cheered them on the entire time. You can’t help but rally behind them and become invested in their fight to be together and defeat their own personal demons.
  • If you have read Black Bird of the Gallows, then you already know a lot about the harbingers of death. This book immerses the reader into the world of the beekeepers and further adds to the mythology previously introduced. I liked getting to see the other side of things and to further understand how things work in Kassel’s super unique world.

Things I Disliked:

  •  The romance was a bit too insta-love for me. Things moved really fast! I kind of rolled my eyes a few times, but at least there weren’t any love triangles or squares. That would have been too much for me! I prefer slow burning romances that take time to develop.

So, if you were a fan of Black Bird of the Gallows or like paranormal romances than this book is totally for you! It’s very heartwarming, easy to read and very additive. I’m eagerly looking forward to Kassel’s next release.


About the Author

8353652Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before embracing her true passion, writing. She now lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her family, and is busy at work on her next novel. A fan of ’80s cartoons, original Netflix series, daydreaming, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing, Meg is reading, hanging out with her husband and daughter, hiding her peanut butter cups, or walking her rescue mutt, Luna. She is a two-time finalist and the 2016 YA winner of the RWA Golden Heart© contest. Her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows, was released in 2017.

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Giveaway

Click the link to enter an international rafflecopter giveaway. You could win ____________. Good luck! 🙂


The Tour

ih9zuluDon’t forget to check out the rest of today’s stops organized by YA Bound Book Tours.

See the rest of stops on the Keeper of the Bees blog tour here.

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Review: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

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

33509076Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Release date: September 5th, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance

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A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel is a perfect example of why I should never judge a book by its synopsis. When this book was first released I was offered a chance to read it and I passed. It really didn’t sound like something that I would want to read. However, when I received a chance to join the blog tour for its companion novel, Keeper of the Bees, I decided to give this novel a chance and I’m so happy that I did! I ended up becoming completely addicted to it…I just couldn’t stop reading! So, if you haven’t given Black Bird of the Gallows a read, I highly recommend that you do as soon as possible!

The story focuses on Angie Dovage, a teenage girl who has had a pretty rough life. Her mother is a drug addict and dragged poor Angie from one drug den or random house to another. Now, she’s living with her father and completely fascinated with the new next door neighbours. She becomes close friends with their son Reece, however, things aren’t as they initially seem. Reece has many secrets which could completely destroy everything Angie loves.

I really enjoyed how the book had a very dark and eerie feel to it. The world created by Kassel was interesting and the mystery established at the beginning of the story continues throughout. You just never really know what will happen next. The mythology was one of those mysterious areas that I though was really well written. It was unique and revealed in a manner that didn’t feel like info dumping. Plus, I finished the book with a sense of really knowing and understanding the world the characters resided in. Sometimes that’s a major issue with fantasy worlds…things are too complicated or rushed and a proper explanation is sacrificed for pushing the plot forward. I’m so glad that that wasn’t the case with this book!

I really appreciated how the book avoided an insta-romance between Angie and Reece. Everything started out slow with the two characters building a believable friendship. I did take issue with how the progression of the relationship was a bit rushed in the middle, but overall I really liked these two characters together. There was a lot of tension between them and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!

I highly recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance, dark stories and mysteries. I’m very much looking forward to picking up the book’s companion novel very soon!

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About the Author

8353652Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before embracing her true passion, writing. She now lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her family, and is busy at work on her next novel. A fan of ’80s cartoons, original Netflix series, daydreaming, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing, Meg is reading, hanging out with her husband and daughter, hiding her peanut butter cups, or walking her rescue mutt, Luna. She is a two-time finalist and the 2016 YA winner of the RWA Golden Heart© contest. Her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows, was released in 2017.

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