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Love & Butterflies: A Review of Dani Hart’s “The Arie Chronicles: Reality” Description: “To be extraordinary was a fate Arie Belle had never imagined. Her days had been filled with naïve pleasures and promising love, but all that changed one tragic day when her mother was killed under mysterious circumstances, plunging Arie’s life into dark and hopeless times where her lifelong friend, River, was her only beacon of light. After years of numbness, a beautiful stranger, Ashe, entered her world and took her soul to places it had never been, across realities trapped within the worlds of fairy tales. Could he be her savior, or would she find the strength within to be her own? Along her journey, she quickly unraveled the secret behind her uncanny connection with nature and her mother’s killer. But one mystery remained—one of scripted destiny and the pull of the dark forces of life. Could she find the answers she needed before the next full moon? Or would death claim her as it had been painted in the fate of the stars?”

My Thoughts:

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

The Arie Chronicles: Reality was the first book I’ve ever read by Dani Hart and it won’t be my last!

Hart delivered a great contemporary fairy tale. It included magic, fairies, and the concept of good vs. evil. But, she took a different approach with it. We didn’t get the atypical story about mythical beings creating havoc through use of magic. There were no fairy godmothers, no witches, no typical villains. The Arie Chronicles: Reality was about a young girl stumbling into her heritage. She didn’t cast any spells. She didn’t spend the book discovering strange powers. It was refreshing to say the least.

Arie’s story had the potential to be disheartening and very depressing though. For a good part of the story she was dejected. I just wanted to kick some sense into her. I wanted her to wake up and realize she still had to live despite her loss. She had a handsome guy in love with her who was willing to do anything for her. She just couldn’t get on board. Fortunately, her eyes were opened when she was forced to make choices. By the end of the book I was liking her character. She finally realized putting a wall around herself was creating danger for everyone.

My favorite character was Ashe. He was determined and desperately in love with Arie. He wasn’t afraid to admit when he was wrong. Ashe had the potential to be a great book boyfriend.

River was my second favorite character. He was like a Timex watch. He took a beating and kept on ticking. He stuck around through all of Arie’s bull. He stayed true to her even when her heart embraced another. Just like Ashe, everything River did was done out of love. He’s another great book boyfriend.

I didn’t know how I felt about the book until I reached the climax. I had enough of Arie’s constant belly aching. Thankfully Arie matured and the premise of the book was finally revealed. Hart expanded on the concept of good vs. evil. She introduced the theory that people will choose good or evil based on their emotions. The strongest emotion being love. And, that can prompt people to take the high road (good) or the low road (evil) without thinking of the consequences. River was representative of the high road. Ashe was the low road. To make matters worse, evil can masquerade in the guise of goodness. Powerful ideas in a young adult story.

I’m looking forward to read the next installment in Arie’s tale. It’s scheduled to be released in July.

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