The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson


Actual Rating: 3.5 stars-ish

Despite the somewhat-high rating, despite how this book was nominated for The Best Books of 2014 of GoodReads, I wouldn’t say I can recommend this book to anyone. It was well written, the concept and main character was well-developed, but it really lacked…uniqueness.

First of all, The Kiss of Deception is about Princess Lia, who runs away on her marriage day, and hides in a remote town, where soon, an assassin sent to kill her and the prince she was supposed to marry show up. Cliche love triangle? Of course.

The plot wasn’t so bad, slow at first, then picked up nicely, and even the world-building wasn’t so bad, the politics and conflict well-established. But where this book dropped in quality was the characterization.

Don’t get me wrong, Lia was an excellent heroine, strong and unwilling to let anyone rule her life. I have no complaints about her character, other than the possessing the typical naïveté we so often see in YA female characters, but it’s a minor thing, easy to get past.

However, the assassin and the prince, Rafe and Kaden, have no depth to them at all. Often times, I felt like they were the same character, neither possessing individual character traits nor the brains to be considered as layered, unique characters. Their characters can be summarized as typical males, caring one minute, brooding the next, and possessive and competitive, fighting for the girl like she’s a prize to be won. Disgusting.

There is, however, a clever little plot twist, and I give credit to Pearson for pulling that off, but the execution needed work. Like, I was staring at the book in confusion and spent and hour online reading spoilers, trying to figure out what was going on. If any of you read this book, be flexible and patient.

I know this has basically turned into a hate review, but flaws aside, it’s actually a decent book, worthy of the 3.5 stars I gave it. Give it a try. You might like it, at least more than I did.

Review by Aliza London