ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Brave & The Broken by Brittni Chenelle

ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Brave & The Broken by Brittni Chenelle

Bullying, Violence, Deaths/Murders, Strong Language, Sexual Situations

Japanese, Black, Queer

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Brittni Chenelle for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

It just keeps getting better and better!

This is the second book in the Gifted Fae Academy trilogy and I think this one was so much better than the first one. I’m hoping that the third one can finish the trilogy strong. I was very surprised at the reason why the first book ended the way it did, and being able to see Reina and Kai on opposite sides and not always interacting with one another was amazing. I think it worked that the book didn’t solely take place in the Academy like the first one mostly did. Their world really did expand after the first novel, and I feel like this completely changed the dynamic between the two main characters.

I was proud of the character growth that Reina and Kai showed from the first novel, and I’m excited to see more of their progress in the last book.

Now I know that Reina and Kai didn’t start off really…. personable I would say… but Kai finally gets out of his own butt in how he would treat Reina before she realized that she had powers. He was just a jerk-face, okay? We all know this. Luckily though, it seems like Kai becomes self-sacrificing with his own reputation and life in order to save Reina’s and the rest of the students at GFA from The Fallen’s attack. There didn’t need to be a massacre, and that’s what Kai was able to prevent during the dance.

The more that we see Kai with The Fallen, the more that we can see what’s going through his mind and whether or not he really made the right decision. We can also see him understand more of The Fallen’s motive, and a part of him may be more understanding than before. Does that mean he’s going to stay with The Fallen for good? We don’t know. Well, you don’t know. It doesn’t help make Kai’s decision any better when the true leader of The Fallen makes an appearance and ends up becoming friends with him. Can you truly trust a guy that could kill with a single touch? Doesn’t that make him more dangerous than the Fae that they are fighting so hard to eliminate? What about the other gifted people within The Fallen? Are they being hypocrites? What’s the deal? There’s a lot to learn while Kai is within the ranks of The Fallen, and things aren’t as black and white as initially thought.

My favorite part of this novel was the growing dynamic between Reina and Yemoja Roux. Yes, there is a mentor-mentee relationship since Yemoja is the one that truly helps Reina learn how to harness her power, but the relationship grows to one that is more familial in nature, and it warms my heart. Reina sees Yemoja as the big sister that she never had, and even though a part of her knows that Yemoja isn’t her blood sister, she hasn’t felt like she had a family since her parents were killed. They end up growing closer not just on the “practice field” so to speak, but outside of their public interactions. It’s a really beautiful budding relationship and the more you read the novel, the more you can see how that relationship takes its course. I’m hoping for more of this in the third novel to really solidify how important Yemoja and Reina are to one another outside of being gifted. I mentioned my love for their relationship in the first novel and again Brittni just wrote that dynamic perfectly to me.

And the relationship between Bri and Reina. Oh my gosh I’m so freaking happy that Reina finally has a female best friend that she can truly trust and love. Bri is such a great character, and I am so glad that I got to see her more in this novel. Seeing her emotional, but also being true to herself and to Reina was the best. Both Reina and Bri have learned one another’s strengths and weaknesses, triggers, and nuances in what seems like a short amount of time. But for me, it shows that they really took the time to make sure that the other wasn’t just a roommate to them this year, you know? I loved how Bri was so supportive and loyal to Reina even when the elites of the school turned their back on Reina. It was such a quick flip too that honestly it made me wonder whether the elites were actually friends with Reina and cared about her, or if they just accepted her because she was Odin’s girlfriend. Either way, Bri is a true friend to Reina and I do hope that… knowing what happened at the end of this novel… we get to see just how far they are willing to go for one another.

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