Once Upon A Talk is a discussion feature with Michele of A Belle's Tales and Teresa of Readers Live A Thousand Lives.
Here we will discuss both new loves and old flames. So join us as we share our feels.
Teresa Mary Rose
Wifey... this discussion has been a long time coming for us and I don't even know where to begin. I am bursting at the seams with all of the feels I have from this series!
I had the BEST time devouring this series with you! Though I had read book one previously, life and other reading obligations got in the way of me continuing the series. Then you picked it up and reminded me how much I loved the first, and I am so grateful to you for that because this was a series that just continued to steal my heart!
Teresa Mary Rose
Reading this with you definitely made me love the series even more. I am so glad we got to enjoy this series together! This series just gets under your skin and the characters are so easy to fall in love with. Perry! Aria! Liv! Roar! I don't know where to start! Well maybe we should start at the beginning haha. This dystopian is just so different and that is what grabbed me when I first started reading. I really cannot think of another series out there that is quite like this one.
Absolutely! Sharing these books with you and all our feels over the characters was amazing! Yes, let's start with book one and the plot that just pulls you in and refuses to let go! It really is unique, and I was so pleased with the setup and the way this story flows. Aria's life is completely fascinating, and well... crazy! I really liked Aria and that like grew into serious heroine love. I have mad respect for her.
Teresa Mary Rose
Agreed! I love Aria because she starts off so unlikable (for lack of a better word). She is on the weaker side and scared and naive. But then she grows and adapts and becomes such a wonderful character that steals the show. She learns from her mistakes and accepts that her life will never be the same again. You just can't help but love a character like that. The outside world is scary and she adapted well despite everything being stacked against her.
I like your take on that! For me, I liked Aria from the get-go, and I think I was more afraid than she was. Being thrust out of her comfort zone and into a world she had only heard horror stories about was so frightening to me. I hate to admit that I probably wouldn't have fared nearly as well as she did. The aether alone terrifies me. I'm glad you mention her naivety -- that broke my heart -- but it also made me angry because of all the secrets and the fact that the bubble she lived in made her that way. There is a particular scene where a certain someone has to tell her about a very normal change that is occurring in her own body. Wifey, I read that and my own cheeks were so red they were purple. Talk about embarrassing. And I know we're not to him yet, but he was so incredibly endearing in that moment. *dies from all the love I have for him* Okay, back to Aria. Sorry! She truly did have incredible growth and adapted so well! Now, can we talk about him? Is it time?
Teresa Mary Rose
I definitely would not have done as well as she did. I really do admire her for adapting so well. And that scene you mention broke my heart. I felt so bad for her and I wanted to go into the book and hug her and tell her everything would be okay.
Wifey... it is time.. I actually don't know how we held off this long. Perry is the absolute best! I just... I don't have enough words to describe how much I love him. He has such a big heart and he puts everyone before himself. But he also broke my heart... especially during the second book. His doubts.. they broke my feels.
I don't know either. I'm so proud of the control we just displayed when I know our first sentence came close to just being PerryPerryPerryPerryPerryPerryPerryPerry! LOL He does have such a wonderful heart, and I love his determination and strength. His story is heart-wrenching. What he suffered at the hands of his father. Then his brother. But oh, how he loves his adorable nephew Talon. If that doesn't win a heart over, it's because there's no heart to be won!
As frustrated as he was with Aria, he was still so good to her. Like the scene we mention above and in so many others. I secretly love how those two were so disgruntled with one another. They got on each other's last nerve, and it was absolutely hilarious! And of course Perry has a best friend that I'm head over heels for... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Again.
Teresa Mary Rose
I'm proud of us too. We deserve cake for that! His story broke me. He ripped my heart to shreds on numerous occasions. And then towards the end when that horrible thing happens... Wifey I didn't know if I was going to survive it. But Perry came through for me in the end.
His love for Talon is one of my very favorite things about him. He is the father figure Talon deserved and those two together are adorable.
I love a good progression from hate to love in my romances and this one was done perfectly. These two are complete polar opposites when they first meet, but somehow they fit together so well and are so much stronger together. That is my favorite thing about them! That is also why Through The Ever Night gutted me. That and a stupid little witch of a character who brought out my inner jealous b*tch.
While I'm on my Perry/Aria high, I have two words for you.... MAGIC CAVE!
YOU CAN'T JUST BRING UP ROAR LIKE THAT AND NOT SAY ANYTHING ELSE. ROAR *swoons*
That horrible thing we do not speak of!!! My heart was in tatters! That was a put-the-book-in-the-freezer moment for sure! He's just so strong and capable that it's easy to forget he's not indestructible
Yes!! I need a sappy moment: they complete each other. They really do! *GASP* Kirra!!! We hates her!! Ooooooh, I am not a violent person, but I think we were both plotting her demise! *hisses*
MAGIC CAVE TIMES!! I don't think you should have mentioned that this early in the discussion. I may be lost for a while in my swoons! Let me gather myself. Ahem. Okay. I will save those feels for later and focus on Perry's love for his sister Liv. Liv who I got to know in her amazing prequel novella (Roar and Liv), which made her story even more poignant. Those novellas aren't necessary reads; but Wifey, one day I'm going to need you to circle back to that one. BECAUSE THINGS!! And of course you can't talk about Liv without mentioning... ROAR!
Roar is a scene-stealer and heart-melter. Not only do I love his friendship with Perry, which is really a brother bond; but I absolutely cherish the friendship that develops between him and Aria. So many feelings!!! And again, which is what makes something so incredibly difficult to read about. It was like having our hearts stomped!!!
Teresa Mary Rose
I was an absolute wreck! I couldn't function during that part. My heart was not happy.
I cannot stand that girl! I won't even type her name because I hate her so much. I really cannot remember the last time I disliked a character as much as I disliked her. I did not trust her, not from the get go and it drove me absolutely insane that the Tides basically welcomed her with open arms when they were so hostile towards Aria! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH
Okay we can shelve the MAGIC CAVE for now, but we shall come back to it!
I love Liv oh so much! She is such a vibrant character and I definitely plan on circling back to her novella one day. Although I think I need some space because if I read it now my heart may not be able to take it.
Roar is one of a kind and I adore him. He is just a wonderful person... simple as that. Also can we just take a second to appreciate how Aria and Roar never ever crossed into a romantic relationship and how refreshing that was?!?! It would have been so easy to turn this into a love triangle and create drama. I love though that Veronica didn't go that route and that Roar was simply a great friend.
I appreciate your stance so I won't type her name again... it pained me to type it the first time! She was awful. Far worse than Brooke ever dreamed of being! It bothered me, too, that the Tides were more accepting of her. I get that she was one of them and they felt Aria was an outsider, but it didn't make me any less cranky! Aria worked so hard to prove herself -- I hurt for her through all of that. It's one of the reasons I adored Molly. She was the first person to reach out to Aria, and I loved her for it.
Exactly! I was so nervous because I did NOT want there to be a love triangle, but the author handled it so perfectly. Their friendship was marvelous and so crucial to the storyline and everything that takes place in the final book. Roar wouldn't have made it without Aria. Also, his nicknames for her were another one of my favorite things.
Teresa Mary Rose
Yeah... I thought I hated Brooke until I met She Who Shall Not Be Named. Actually, the Tides as a whole really bugged me in the beginning. Every single one of them was judgmental, they don't listen to reason, and I hated how they treated Aria. But I agree with you, Molly was a wonderful character and I loved her. The rest of the Tides could have learned from her.
No.... Roar would not have made it without Aria. As great of friends Perry and Roar are, his relationship with Aria is very special as well. She was the one who really got the three of them through all of the hardships in the end.
They were completely prejudiced when it came to Aria, and I liked the way that it mirrored prejudices in society today; but it was tough to read about because I loved Aria so much and needed them to see her for who she was!
Isn't it amazing that the "weakest" character grew to become the strongest? It's just so inspiring!
So I have honorable mentions like above with Molly, and I also wanted to mention Cinder, Bear, Willow, Flea, Marron, Loran, and Jupiter. Though there are many more I enjoyed as well. But I also have some honorable hisses: Hess, Vale, Sable, and Wylan. But there are a couple of characters that fall into both categories. That would be Soren and Reef. Reef was good to Perry, but I had some issues with him when it came to Aria. And Soren. Egads. I guess I have a love/hate relationship with him, and I'm very curious about your thoughts on this whole group of characters since most of our previous discussions centered around Aria, Perry, Roar, and Liv. Did you have a most hated or a most loved secondary character?
Teresa Mary Rose
Oh the way it mirrored our society was done so well but it made me sad for Aria like you. I love that she put them all in their place in the end.
Well I think you know who my most hated character is... she who must not be named haha but other than her I think my most hated would have to be Sable. He is just so manipulative and what he does to Perry in the end hurt my soul. He is a backstabbing mother trucker and I loathe him. As for most loved... that is a tough one... there are a lot of secondary characters I loved. My favorite is probably Marron. He was so good to Perry and was a good man. It take a special person to step into power when someone else leaves and then give it back when it is time. He was a good guy and I really liked him.
I'm really glad you brought up Reef and Soren. Honestly... I really did not like Reef. I appreciated how he was loyal to Perry and that he was a support for him BUT I also thought he was very prejudiced against Aria and I also didn't like how willing he was to sacrifice others for the "greater good" when decisions needed to be made. I also got really sick of him telling Perry to stay away from Aria because frankly it is none of his business. Soren I actually came to like in the end because he really and truly changed. In the beginning I struggled with him and I hated his haughty attitude, but I appreciate the fact that in the end he tried and that he was willing to change and become a better person.
So Wifey is it time to go back to the MAGIC CAVE?!?! Because my feels love the MAGIC CAVE! That scene is probably my favorite scene in the entire series. It is so sweet and swoony and perfect. It is also one of the few moments where we get some serious Perry and Aria alone time. I love seeing them together and alone just being a couple. Just such a perfect and sweet scene. Did you love it as much as I did?
Yes, she is #1 on the enemy list. But I agree that second place belongs to Sable. And he just frightened me. Plain and simple. He was so cold and just soulless!! Marron is just a delight and you took the words right out of my brain! I love how you put that about the power. He stepped up when he needed to and down when it was time. I think he would be our BFF.
I love that we are on the same wavelength with both Reef and Soren. I had the same issues with Reef. And I really wanted him to grow into a favorite character, but that just wasn't meant to be. Soren was a fun character to hate and a fun character to learn not to hate. Even later on when Soren was messing up, he still made me laugh. The interactions between him, Perry, and Roar were some of the best. Incredibly funny!
I want to give a nod to Ms. Rossi for the world building and her incredible descriptions. I felt as if I were there with these characters and so easily pictured all the places they traveled to.
It's definitely time. That is one of the most perfect and beautiful moments. It was this wonderful reward -- not only for them and all they had been through, but for fans of the series and all WE had been through with them. It was just lovely, and I adored it! I love how many feels we shared over that scene!
Teresa Mary Rose
Yes! Marron could be our BFF and we could have lunch with him and he could teach us and we would be so wise and have all the fun. I approve of this friendship.
Yeah, I thought Reef would have potential but then I just wanted to strangle him all the time. OH GOSH YES! I loved the interactions between Soren, Perry, and Roar. I cracked up. Their arguing was priceless.
OMG YES! She created such a beautiful and terrifying world. It was so easy to get lost in this world. Her writing is absolutely stunning and lyrical. I loved how she made the world frightening, but still somewhere I wanted to visit.
Not only has this become one of our favorite series, but this author is on our auto buy list. Thank you so much for sharing all the feels with me in this incredible world and captivating story. I loved all our texts, emails, and discussions about these characters! I have a feeling we will be revisiting these books in the future ;)
Teresa Mary Rose
Absolutely! I loved sharing this book with you and I cannot wait to visit these lovely characters again.