Thursday, January 28, 2010

Review: Tithe

Book cover
Title: Tithe (A Modern Faerie Tale)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Paranormal
Pub Date: October 2002, Simon & Schuster
Paperback, 336 pages
Book source: Purchased from


Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms — a struggle that could very well mean her death.

My Thoughts

This is one of those occasions where, overall, I am rather neutral about this book. I really disliked some aspects and enjoyed others, but by the end I was left thinking, "eh, whatever." In fact, I finished this book a couple of days ago but it took me awhile to muster any interest in writing the review, I suppose because I had to figure out what exactly to write about.

What did I dislike? The (to me) very non-YA aspects of the book, including language and some of the content. I know that young people are exposed to some of this junk much earlier these days but that doesn't mean I think it should be written about in "YA" books. Interestingly enough, I can see myself enjoying this when I was closer to that age group, perhaps because it would have felt "rebellious" for me to read it. Now I just feel like it's silly--especially given that it all seemed very gratuitous and it wasn't as if these teenagers were learning any life lessons. The offending content and language unfortunately turned me off of about the first half of the book but I kept turning pages...

And I'm glad I did, as it kept me from having a completely negative opinion about the book. I enjoyed this look into the faery world, and when that was the focus I found myself enjoying Tithe much more. I liked Kaye and Roiben quite a bit and would have enjoyed reading a little bit more about some of the other faeries. Overall the story is fairly self-contained, though I know that this is the first book in a series. When I finished the last page, though, I honestly didn't feel a great pull to read the second book. Maybe down the road when I read through some of my large stack of TBR books. The writing is basically okay--not great--but I guess the story just didn't really grab me. I do know that many people out there loved this book and this series, so I encourage you to check out some of the other reviews listed below!

My rating: 3 stars

Other reviews of Tithe:

If you have reviewed this book and would like to see your site listed here, please leave a comment with the link to your review!


  1. Great review! While I love this cover, I'm not sure it would be my top pick to read :)

  2. I didn't like it at all... I'm with you on the non-YA aspects of the story. That, and I thought the writing was awfully clumsy as well. Imaginative, but awkward.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. I know what you mean about the language, it is very in your face.

    I have to say I loved Valiant a lot more.

  4. I've been thinking about picking this one up for a while. Now, I think I will not. I think I would have a similar reaction to language and content, so I will choose my other many many TBR books instead. Thanks for the review!

  5. I was not a big fan of this series. There are a lot better ones out there... I read it a few years ago and hardly remember it at this point.

  6. Probably won't be reading this book anytime soon but I liked the cover. Thanks for the review.

  7. Yeah, I was really disappointed with this one because I had heard good things about it and had it recommended to me a few times. Oh well, doubt I'll be finishing it any time soon, if ever!

  8. Good review :) I really dislike when something is categorized as one thing but is totally not correct. Hope your next book is great!
    Confessions & Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog

  9. I liked your review and glad Im not the only one who thought this was extreme for YA. Valiant the next one is much worse, the content with the drugs is (IMO) very disturbing.

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  11. Tina, thank you for the heads up. Am thinking I probably will NOT continue this series, then. Doesn't sound like I'll be missing out on much!


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