“I didn’t know how much longer I could hold on, but I wanted to. I wanted to say goodbye to them. I wanted to say I was sorry for not being stronger. I wanted to tell them how much I loved them. I wanted to live.”- Arie, Reality
Author: Dani Hart
Series: The Arie Chronicles
Publication Date: June 6, 2014
My Thoughts: Reality is the first book in the The Arie Chronicles. This novel follows our main character Arie Belle. Arie always felt that she was different, but she could never figure out why. As a little girl, she had this connection with nature and her life was full of light— that is until her sixteenth birthday when her mother died. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she is once again overwhelmed feelings of grief. On the day of her birthday, her best friend, River (whom she has loved since she was seven-years-old), tries to get her out of the house by inviting her to a concert. When she arrives at the concert, she feels eyes following her and she sees a boy watching her. Before she can approach him, River finds her and the mysterious boy has disappeared.
Over the next few days, strange events start to occur. Arie is starts having blackouts and “visions” and she doesn’t quite understand it all. She sees the mysterious boy again and learns that his name is Ashe and she feels drawn to him and she doesn’t understand why. Arie starts to question everything and everyone around her and soon finds that the reality she has been living in may not be as “real” as it seems.
Let’s get down to the basics!
The Cover: The cover of this book is beautiful. I was initially drawn in by the title. It also has butterflies on the cover which represents an important aspect of the book as butterflies have an important role throughout this novel.
The Writing: The writing…the WRITING in the book hands-down has to be the most captivating writing I have ever read. Hart’s writing is like art—LITERALLY. This book is filled with imagery since nature and animals play a major role in the plot. The mystery in this book was also great in this book. You think you have it figured out, but then BAM—PLOT TWIST. I could not put this book down.
The Characters: For the most part, I liked Arie. She didn’t exactly start out as a strong character for me, but by the end of the book, she definitely came into her own. There were some moments where I was annoyed with her and just how she made decisions, but overtime, her mistakes helped her to grow which I was glad to see. Between the two guys, I think I would say that I am #TeamRiver. I just really liked his character and his self-less devotion to protect Arie. Although Ashe was doing the same, I think the mystery that surrounded who his character was and what his role was made it hard for me to like him as much.
The Issues: I don’t know how I feel about the love triangle in this book—especially since there is no love triangle at the end of the book. It kind of hits you in the face because Ashe just shows up and the instant connection starts and then Arie is constantly changing her mind between choosing Ashe or River. It just ends up being all over the place, making the book feel like more of a romance book than a fantasy book.
Overall, I did really enjoy this read. It is such a unique fantasy book and I just loved the writing and the use of nature in this book…it gave me chills and made me want to go catch fireflies. I can’t wait to continue Arie’s story in the second book!
*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!