Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Book Tour - Roses & Rot by Kat Howard

Roses & Rot by Kat Howard
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: Saga Press
Book Format: Physical book from Publisher.
Rating: Five Stars
Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love.

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

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.
First Impression:

I found out about this book through one of the many Irish Banana's blog tours. I'm glad that she gathered together a list of future blog tours and has email notifications because I'm sure there are a lot of books I wouldn't have found if it wasn't for her. Plus - I got to be part of the blog tour. Yay!!

Advertising aside (lol), I was interested with the fact that this story involved sisters and the fact that they are attending a place for artists. The fact that Imogen is described as someone who's always immersed in fairy tales and storytelling, I just knew I had to read this. She reminds me of me so so so much. I'm kind of nervous to see just how close Imogen really is to my personality. But it looks like it goes so much more further than that - her 'fairy tale' could be the one thing that forces her against her sister? Nooooooo!! What is this thing that keeps sisters away? Why? D:

I had to find out...


Wow. I feel like Imogen with when she found herself confronting Melete for the first time- blissfully ignorant to what she's heading for- and then realizing too late just how different things were meant to be. Imogen may not have liked the outcome, but at least she agreed that it would make for a very interesting story.

"Come on now, Imogen. You know how this works. No one ever made great art by being careful."

Roses and Rot, pg. 143
You only really get to see Marin's and Imogen's mom through their own opinions and thoughts, but its enough to make you understand why they hoped they would never see their mother again. She's just one of the many fairy tale themes that scatters itself on the pages, but it never gets old. It's a constant reminder that, no matter how much you know something inside and out, you'll always find yourself surprised.

The sisters were lucky - they both managed to get into Melete together to further their art. It seems too good to be true, and Imogen felt it in her bones that it was. But Marin constantly reassured her that just because something seemed perfect on the outside doesn't mean that it wasn't. After all, it meant never seeing their mother - at least for nine months. But, with their skills honed, they wouldn't have to see her again.

But it was so much more than that - and the girls were quick to catch on. They may have everything they need to survive, alongside with other girls - Ariel and Helena -  it did not come without a cost. And faeries are more than willing to take back what they're owed.

Yes. Faeries. They exist - but they're not what you expect. Especially for Imogen who had spent most of her life reading fairy tale upon fairy tale hoping for a better life - a happy ending. But, in the end, things don't always go the way you want them to. Even if there was a happy ending, it doesn't come without some sort of scar to remember where they came from.

But still, Imogen keeps writing.

"My voice is who I am, and they can take it from me. I don't know how to feel okay."

Roses and Rot, pg. 143
The writing in this book is perfect. Kat Howard's voice is charming and eerie all at the same time. You could feel the life emanating from the pages - even more so when you read the story Imogen struggles to write on her own. Although, had Imogen's words been lined up together rather than being separated between her own world, it probably would've seemed fractured. But I think, with how the story is trying to be told, it felt right. It fit the mood perfectly.

This is definitely a book that you do not want to miss.

If you like dark faerie tales, a story about two siblings and the path they chose to go on and the one they follow in the end, this will definitely be the book for you.

"My fairy tale ending was to live."

Roses and Rot, pg. 94

(Disclaimer - Even though I did receive a free copy of this book, I wasn't influenced by any sort of outside source that would've swayed my opinion for this story. All opinions and thoughts are my own.)

WHERE TO BUY ROSES AND ROT: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in year's best and best of collections, and performed on NPR. Roses and Rot is her debut novel. You can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword. 

Also, Shane Leonard took her photo, and she's super grateful.

LINKS: Website | Twitter
Interested? Thinking that this might be the kind of book you want to read ASAP? Well, I got awesome news for you - we got a giveaway for one finished copy of Roses and Rot (US only, I'm afraid - sorry D: ).

Enter with the Rafflecopter below and good luck!


  1. This cover had me from the get-go, and thankfully the book sounds good enough to match! I can't wait to give this one a shot. I think I might just love it!