Title: One White Rose
Author: Julie Fugate
Genre: Fiction/ Romance/ Fantasy/ YA
Favourite Quote: “Beautiful. Mesmerising. Terrifying.”
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.*
Camille knew long ago that she will never be fully accepted in society, that the strange looks will always follow her. Hiding her sensitive albino skin from sunlight has become her own personal game, hiding her pink/ red eyes behind tinted sunglasses is her own small comfort around others. When her guardian passes away, the only person who truly accepted her for the way she was, Camille turns her grief into determination to discover the truth about her birth mother, a recently murdered school counsellor at Wyngard Academy.
A quick transfer to the school means one of two things; the ability to discover more about the death from the student body, and also having the realisation that once again, she isn’t accepted. When the new replacement student counsellor shows up, a young attractive Mr. Perfect school counsellor, and gives Camille a scholarship fund to form a makeover in order to fit in, something doesn’t feel right. She is even more suspicious when the rich popular girls are required to make her feel welcome amongst their group. All of the attention is surprising but she can’t help but listen to the rumours that her new ‘friends’ were somehow involved in her mother’s death. With no other choice, Camille plays along in their dangerous game to find out the truth once and for all.
Who is this mysteriously dashing Mr. Kiva and what does he want?
Why have the popular girls quickly accepted her as their own?
Who are the Le’gna and how is it all connected to Mr. Kiva, her new ‘friends’ and her birth mother?
‘The statue’s face transfixed in her mind, the wings stretched out.
I wasn’t sure what to think of this one. A modern Beauty and the Beast with a mix of religion and fantasy with it’s added surprising mythical creatures.
The story started off like a mystery thriller, a teenage girl not quite accepted in society, intent on finding the person responsible for her mother’s murder. The new counsellor takes an interest in her, giving her a new change of life which allows you to become suspicious, but then the story changes to become something different altogether with a religious turn before introducing mythical creatures. I’m not sure whether I loved it or hated it. It was an interesting take to say the least for a fairytale retelling of sorts.
A girl given everything to unknowingly become part of the mysterious Le’gna – an organisation/ cult that didn’t quite make sense to me, even after the second time I read it. Do these people worship angels or fallen angels? Do they believe Mr. Kiva is good or evil? It makes you ask yourself over and over again, who are the Le’gna and what is their purpose? You never quite figure it out, well, at least I didn’t.
Mr. Kiva was an enigma to me. He was supposed to be the handsome young anti-hero that we all fall in love with, but I felt we didn’t get to know his character at all. I do wish the author made the time to include a few brief chapters mixed in from his perspective. What does a fallen angel do when he’s not playing the role of school counsellor? Are there other fallen angels like him who he associates with? How does he feel losing another queen to old age and what makes Camille so special in his eyes for him to single her out after a hundred years? I want to know more about our bad boy anti-hero. The glimpse that we do get is that it’s clear he’s keeping watch over her and trying to keep her safe, but from who? Himself? The Le’gna? Other fallen angels? The little emotional triggers felt when they touch were a small indication to how lonely and wretched his life had become before he put up his barriers again.
‘She met Mr. Kiva’s dead-man stare in the mirror. The chocolate colour of his pupils seemed to swirl like black tornadoes pulling her in, then his eyes were once again stable, black as ink. Impossible. A hallucination?
Mr. Kiva seemed amused. “You are definitely not what I expected.”‘
I liked Camille as a character, not only was she singled out as the new student to play pranks on, but the author did more by making her albino. A further challenge for a new high school student who just wants to be accepted. I liked how she wasn’t blind to the fake Le’gna girls and stuck with them for her own purpose and gain. I didn’t like how quickly and easily she just accepted the Mr. Kiva was going to control her life, although I can see the appeal for her wanting to blend in. Her humility in knowing she will never be beautiful to another, so when people pay her compliments she doesn’t know how to react. The author made her realistic and almost relatable in her unusual appearance, easy to understand and feel for.
I liked the writing style and enjoyed the characters, but I feel a bit more character development would have definitely improved my favour for the story. I understand that Mr. Kiva was this elusive important being but a few more conversations with the person who he’s set on being his future companion wouldn’t have hurt for her to feel something a bit more than general physical attraction and suspicion. I’ve read this book twice and I still can’t make my mind up so I’ve rated it 3/5 stars.
A beast that can’t change. A girl fighting to stay human.
CAMILLE DREES is determined to find her biological mother’s killer and put her genetic past behind her. Not easy to do under the radar when you’re the new girl in school and the only albino. After falling victim to a prank, she is forced to be friends with the same girls who tricked her, while at the same time finds herself placed under the wing of a mysterious and elite organization.
Frenemies are one thing, but bizarre visions and the attention of a hot stranger another. When she realizes her new friends and murdered mother were all involved with the same organization now grooming them for some future destiny, she can’t lose the opportunity to gain information.
With the help of another classmate who shares her quest for the truth, they discover a world where angels and mermaids aren’t myths and evil exists. Now another life beckons to her, so it’s a race to find the killer before she’s the next victim or worse—becomes a monster herself.
An Urban Fantasy with Christian themes inspired by Beauty and the Beast. This is a stand-alone in the Kings of Renown Series.