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Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
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Roses and Rot

by Kat Howard

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2052083,932 (3.89)5

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
To me, the testament of a good story is how long it sticks with you after you finish. My favorite books are the ones that, no matter what else you might be doing, are always at the back of your mind. Wooing you. Reminding you that they exist. Begging for another read through. Kat Howard's Roses and Rot hasn't unleashed me from its magical confines yet. I finished it well over two days ago, and it just won't leave me be. I tell you, I'm not even upset. All I really want is a hardcover of this so I can lovingly read it over and over again.

I love fairy tales, with all of my being. To be more specific, I love the fairy tales that are a bit on the darker side. The ones where people might be changed forever, or even die. The ones were love only prevails after sacrifice. That's exactly how Howard's writing captured me. Imogen's story is equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting. It deals with the definition of love, with sisterhood, and with all the blood, sweat and tears that go into passionate art. Imogen's life is revealed in tandem. Both her present, and her past, play a part in the fairy tale that she is unknowingly being woven into. It's magical, and trust me when I say it's easy to get lost in.

Which brings me to my next two points. First of all, this is a very difficult book to read at times. It does deal with childhood abuse, both of the verbal and physical varieties. Like all good fairy tales, it also has its very sad portions, so be warned. My biggest warning though, is that this book is extremely hard to put down. Chances are high that you won't want to set it down at all. So this is me giving you a heads up, before you end up staying up well into the wee hours of the morning because you started this before bed. It's addictive.

I don't hand out five star reviews very easily. A book has to truly sweep me up, in order to make its way onto my list of favorite books. Roses and Rot did just that. I'm thrilled that I was able to read this, and saddened that it's over. I'll miss Melete, and all its magic. Another read through can't come soon enough. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Sometimes, a book is so good, so perfect, that it touches something so essential to the core of who you are, that there are no words. All you can do is sit very quietly in the glow of the story, and hope - somehow - that if you do not move, the story will never end.

I'd like to come back later and write a real review, but this is one of the books I go back to the beginning and read again, because I cannot bear for it to end.

After my second reading, I tweeted the author this:

“@KatWithSword I read on Kindle, highlight my favorite bits, and share on Goodreads. I’ve never highlighted more than 6 quotes in a novel. I just reread “Roses and Rot,” already a favorite, & have 42 highlights. That book just gets inside me the way few other books do. Thank you.”

I still don’t think I could articulate *why* this book sucker punches me so well in just the right way, but I love fantasy. I love fairy tales. I love dark, atmospheric things that burn. I love stories that wrap their tendrils so deep inside your heart that they can never leave. This book does *not* disappoint. ( )
  simplyjennifer | Dec 9, 2018 |
A very compelling novel... Kat Howard is certainly a gifted writer- her scenes are put together well and her characters are rich in detail and interest. The story grabbed my interest in the beginning... It hiccup'ed a bit towards the middle, but made a nice recovery and finished strong.

I would maybe have loved it a bit more without the fairy tale component, but the metaphor totally works. Looking forward to Ms. Howard's next work! ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
"Once upon a time." Kat Howard's Roses and Rot begins as a story of two talented sisters, and blooms into extraordinarily rendered modern faerie tale filled with night markets and wild hunts, glorious art, ambition, and deep passion.

With Roses and Rot, Howard opens a door to the other side, and beckons you through to a place that can fulfill all your dreams But be warned, there is a price: "once upon a time" is as much a demand as it is an invitation, and some may not return from the passage. ( )
  sussura | Sep 29, 2018 |
I loved this book. Maybe because I come from a very abusive background with a mother who was very similar to the one described by the main character in the book, but so much in this book just spoke to me. I found it to be a fascinating story full of emotion and drama and fantasy and horror. I couldn't stop turning the pages. Some parts broke my heart and others inspired me to go after dreams in my own life as a writer. A brilliant debut novel with as much food for thought. I highly recommend! ( )
  LongDogMom | Jun 26, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
More strange than true. I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.

--William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Dedication
For my sister
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Marin sat on my bed, next to my half-packed suitcase.
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Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn't imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program; Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there's more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she's dreamed about as a child, but it's one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart's desire.… (more)

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