I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is also spoiler free!
Of Pens and Swords
Written by Rena Rocford
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Places to Get this Book: Amazon
Recommended Age: 12 and up!
Seventeen-year-old Cyra Berque wants two things in life: a date with Rochan and a chance to fence at the Olympics. But people with one hand don’t normally fence, and girls with big thighs don’t get the boy. Knowing that she wants to make the Olympics, Cyra’s coach sets her up with another coach, one who could take her all the way to the top, but the new coach costs more. Feeling her dreams slipping out of reach, Cyra agrees to tutor a ballerina with a rich father and a D minus in English. It’s triple the pay and triple the pain. The ballerina isn’t interested in passing classes―she wants Rochan, and she’s promised she’ll turn her D minus into a full-fledged F if Cyra doesn’t help her win the heart of Rochan
When I first requested this book from NetGalley, I assumed it would be a typical Teen Fiction romance that would bore me to death. But what I got was a whole lot more than that.
I really like the cover. It is simple but beautiful and the font was amazing. I really enjoyed reading this book on the bus to and from school.
I loved Cyra. She’s the girl who is a kind of outcast just because she isn’t as pretty as everyone else and happens to only have one hand. But she excels at everything she puts her heart and mind to which made me happy. She is a really level-headed teenage girl which is rare in the realm of YA. They don’t always think before they do something and they are often not experiencing internal struggles. Cyra is very intelligent but also worries about her appearance which is something many girls can relate to. I also love how she is willing to help Christine even though, she wants the guy for herself.
Meet Rochan. The typical teenage boy. Clueless about girls and their thoughts. I’m not kidding. He was totally clueless about how people felt about him and the fact that Cyra was practically in love with him but helping her friend get the guy.
I loved her. I feel like at some times you were supposed to hate her but she was amazing. She was the typical ‘popular’ girl who supposedly had no brains. She was portrayed in such a good way, and she was super sweet. I was in tears at the end. And yes, I did read it on the school bus.
The plot was typical for a YA contemporary but we also dealt with disabilities which was unique and clever. I really liked how it managed to surprise me with every page. I thought the main character would be obsessed with the boy which was typical in a YA book but instead she wasn’t and was willing to help her friend. There were twists and turns and an unexpected one near the end of the book which left me in tears.
The writing was very smooth and easy to read which made me happy.
I liked the romance between Rochan and Christine but I didn’t feel as if it was perfect. They did have problems communicating and it wasn’t perfect. But then the romance between Rochan and Cyra was also cute. It developed and then was a main focus at the very end which made me happy.
This book didn’t quite make it to 5 Crowns with me because of some minor details. I am being a lot pickier with how I rate books now as I realized how many books I rate 4.5 Crowns and higher. I really enjoyed it though. It was a cute short book that I highly recommend. But bring tissues, you’re going to need them.
Quotes from the Book:
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns