The Stealthy Book Nerd! Review: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard!


Huzzah! Welcome to my new blogging segment: The Stealthy Book Nerd! Where this Stealthy Kitchen Mama hangs up her apron for the day, grabs a favorite cup of coffee and dives heart-first into one of her many other, long standing passions! Reading and Reviewing my favorite literature, most of which is Middle Reader & Young Adult Lit!

Long, long before I became a Mother, I worked in the book industry as a children’s lit specialist. You needed a REALLY good children’s book recommendation, of any genre, for any age? Then I was your girl. For 17 years, the children’s book world was my life and sole driving passion. Book fairs, author events, story-times, reading programs, book clubs. I pretty much did it all. And loved every second of it. Until a little over 3 years ago when I decided to drop down to part time hours, in the hopes of conceiving. Which worked. Due to a high risk pregnancy though (from day 1), I ended up leaving the book industry to concentrate on the health of my baby girl, as well as this recipe blog. Now 3 years later, even though I still dearly miss the book industry, my finicky health and flourishing weekend pastry business, prevent me from going back to it. Hence the birth of this new book review segment! You might be able to take the bookstore away from the girl, but you will never take the love out of the book nerd.

So to celebrate this brand new adventure of mine, I’m super thrilled to review this stunning new Young Adult novel, RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard! Here’s the thing that I ADORE about this YA. Despite the ever shifting yet constant flood of new Fantasy YA novels within the publishing world, this Fantasy novel is entirely one-of-a-kind. A tad reminiscent of Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING (which was a massive bestseller back in 2008) and a little bit like THE HUNGER GAMES, with all of the tantalizing bits of YA storytelling that a true book snob could ever want, this novel had me wrapped around it’s spine from start to finish. As in, I sat down and finished this glorious novel in 1 day. ONE day. Which, as a super busy Mom with a weekend pastry business, NEVER happens! Geez, I even turned off my cell phone for the entire day because it was THAT brilliant. Now, yes, you might read the summary of this book somewhere online and think, “Oh, I get it. Here comes another fantasy novel with star-crossed lovers caught within the (stereotypical) deviousness of a kingship’s lust for power and control.” Um, no. This is SO MUCH MORE than just two star-crossed lovers caught within the deviousness of a kingship’s lust for power and control. So. Much. More. These characters FEEL real. Like you’re literally standing right next them, experiencing this frightening yet exhilarating fantasy world, with every breathe and beat of their fictional hearts. Where the farther you become entangled within their stories, the more their struggles take hold within your imagination. And the storyline? Come on. How can you not LOVE this storyline? Two classes of citizens, one abused and impoverished, the other privileged and protected, with an epic revolution slowly simmering away between them. And I haven’t even gotten to the brilliant love triangle between Mare and the two princes yet. Which I won’t. This is something you need to experience firsthand. It’s both tragic and endearing. Confusing and emotional. It’s truly epic. And I don’t use the word “epic” lightly when reviewing new novels. Not every novel HAS that kind of magic. Not like RED QUEEN does.

So what are you waiting for? Get over to your local Books Inc (if you’re located in the Bay Area) and grab yourself a copy of this YA! It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 36. This may be one of the best fantasy novels you’ve read in a long time. Trust me.

Happy Reading! Stay tuned for next month’s SBN post!



  1. Lovely! I haven’t read this one yet!

  2. Valerie@Occasionally Crafty says:

    I’m a sucker for a great YA novel. Thanks for the review! PS- I think it’s great that you’re bringing another passion of yours onto the blog!

  3. This is one I really want to read!

  4. I LOVE YA literature. I think a lot of people discount it, but I love many of the YA novels I’ve read just as much as any others! I’ll have to add this to my summer reading list!

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