book review

Never-Contended Things|Book Review

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Title: Never-Contended Things39863312.jpg

Author: Sarah Porter

Pages: 368


Synopsis: Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries ― until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price ― and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.

TW: Themes of incest, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, & neglect.

Spoiler Free Review

I found the synopsis for this book to be a bit misleading. The synopsis gives off the vibe that it is going to be fairy centered and even have Prince as a main character. The fairies didn’t amount for much in the book. Unselle(who is on the cover) is really the only fairy that we get to know, though even we don’t get to know much about her. I wish the fairies played a bit of a bigger role in the story.

The book follows four point of views but one of them is about three pages so really its only three point of views. The first point of view is Ksenia who is about to turn 18. She lives with the two foster parents and a foster brother. After everything that Ksenia has been through she has become closed off to everyone except her foster brother Josh. From the first moment they met Ksenia and Josh have had a bond and its only gotten tighter throughout the years they’ve been together. Their foster parents view Ksenia as someone who is providing a bad influence over Josh and because of this, when she turns 18 she will be moving out. This is the exact opposite of what Ksenia and Josh want and being separated is something they both fear. Which is how Prince and his fairy court come into play. On a night where their foster parents are out Josh and Ksenia stumble upon the fairies.

As the night comes to an end, the fairies whisk Josh away leaving Ksenia behind. When Josh returns he comes back with a solution to their problem, a place where they don’t have to be separated. Josh and Ksenia become trapped in the world of the fairies and their love is put to the test as they try to reclaim their freedom.

Josh is 16 years old and is Ksenia’s foster brother. While Ksenia loves Josh as that of a brother, Josh doesn’t view her that way. His love for her has sort of blind sighted him and he believes he knows exactly what Ksenia wants. This blind-sighted love that Josh has for Ksenia causes some problems and brings consent into question. Josh does some really questionable things in this book and I did not like him as a character.

Ksenia is someone who is very comfortable in her body, at least thats what she projects to the world. Inwardly though Ksenia isn’t all that self confident and this plays a part in the plot in the end. Ksenia has to face her inner demons in order to achieve something that plays a pretty crucial part into the plot.

Kseinia and Josh have a very unhealthy and codependent relationship. Ksenia is protective of Josh because she believes he is the only one who really understands her. Loosing people in the past has given Ksenia the fear of loosing Josh. Ksenia takes the responsibility for anything that Josh does, even if he might necessarily deserve it. While Ksenia views Josh as a foster brother, Josh views her as quite the opposite. He loves her but not in a brotherly way. Josh believes he knows exactly what Ksenia wants which causes him to disregard her lack of consent and pressures her into romantic situations. I was not a fan of their relationship at all and it was hard to read about which in turn made the book hard to read because its sort of the underlying plot. There was also an age gap between Josh and Ksenia which was a small but yet another factor into why I didn’t like the relationship between them.

A main theme in this book is consent. It deals with consent not only in a romantic/sexual way but in the way of making decisions for one person. Decisions are made without consent in this book out of love and this is something the book touches on. The story tries to bring to light that loving relationships can be dangerous and consent and where the line draws with it is important.

I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the writing. At times I found it very poetic and at other times I felt that the author was trying to hard to be poetic and it made it difficult for me to understand what the author was saying.

Overall this book didn’t exactly work for me, which is why I gave it 3 stars. This is a cruel story and it deals with some heavy subjects like consent and unhealthy love. This is the a book that works for some and doesn’t work for others and unfortunately it didn’t work for me.



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