Review: the Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted March 16th, 2015 in Blog Tour, book review / 24 comments

Review: the Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Review: the Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski (Blog Tour & Giveaway)The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski
Publisher: Entangled Teen on March 10, 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 313
Format: eARC
Source: Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…

Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth's Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…

To avenge his father's death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.

But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…

At A Glance

I like that it was twist on Romeo and Juliet but the execution was meh.

The Good

Rival gangs, forbidden lovers, paranormal aspects, all set in a dystopia world. Pretty freaking awesome idea, right? I thought so too, that’s what drew me to The Thorn and the Sinking Stone. A twist on Romeo and Juliet. I couldn’t pass it up.

The violence and grit of this world appealed to me. You would have to be a hard person to live in it. There was nothing soft or gentle about it. Except for Sebastian and Valencia. These two are different from their murdering families and rough citizens. Valencia is tough but caring, while Sebastian is brave and kind. And together they really brought out the specialness in each other. They start out fighting each other to a possible death and end up with an uncertain future, but at least they are going into it together. There isn’t flowers and candy, but there is friendship and understanding and that’s a good base for a relationship.

I liked the Cursed aspect. I want to know more about why these gifted humans are hunted. There was a lot of action and suspense. And the mystery at the end still has me intrigued.

The Bad

Um, background info? Hello? Are you there? No? Well that sucks. This book really needed a better background base because I felt like I was just thrown into this world and it took me the whole book just to understand a quarter of it. I don’t like feeling lost.

I am cool with violence but how cavalier these characters were about it just irked me sometimes.

There was some plot holes and I wanted more character development.

The Snuggly

I like that this wasn’t an epic love story, it was more gritty and uncertain. It was a nice change up. But I also missed having a strong feeling about “the couple.” I want more from Valencia and Sebastian next time.

Only kissing, so very YA.

Final Thoughts

It was a good read with a meh plot and background. I might read the next one, but I am not sure yet. I am still intrigued enough to keep an eye out for the sequel. Somewhat Recommended.


“Why are you being so nice to me? I just tried to shove a blade in you?” 


“I’m already in your head,” He whispered, “and you know it, I’m beating through your pulse. I’m in the air you breathe, because we’re the same” 


For a long time I’d been consumed by anger. Then Valencia Hara appeared, too wild and beautiful to ignore, and the anger faded into the background. She dulled my sadness, making it easier to think and easier to feel.

About C.J. Dushinski

While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world. Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii.

After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired and began work on her debut Young Adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada – home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the world, and weave her experiences into stories.

CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC.


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24 Responses to “Review: the Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

  1. kindlemom1

    No background info really sucks and is a huge thing for me. I hate feeling like I have been thrown into a world without any explanation of it.

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    Eeesh, I hate being confused as well. The concept sounds awesome, but if the delivery was only meh, I’m not sure this is one for me. Great review!

  3. Jillyn

    I loved this book, but I definitely agree that there needed more background/world building. Great review 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      That’s exactly how it was. And yes, out of all the genres, dystopian needs background the most.

  4. Melliane

    It’s really difficult when a background is missing mainly with these kinds of books, the same for plot holes. Sorry it wasn’t that good even if in a whole you enjoyed it too.

  5. Brittany

    It sucks when you have to read the majority of a book just to understand the first portion of it. I always hate books that do that, or that keep me guessing about how the plot came to be and whatnot. So annoying – just tell me! But I have to admit, the retelling aspect definitely has my interest piqued. Thanks for letting us know!

    You have a lovely blog! I followed via Bloglovin. =)

    Brittany @

  6. Olivia

    Oh, what a shame that there wasn’t enough background info and that the plot wasn’t executed well enough. Although I have very mixed feelings about the play Romeo and Juliet I do love the movies and anything that puts a spin on it which it seems like this does. But it sounds like an okay read.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I think you should try this one though. it was interesting enough, that’s for sure.

  7. Kim { Book Swoon }

    I enjoyed this one overall, but I think I had pretty high expectations with the awesome sounding premise. The romance was swoon-worthy-like I like them, but I wanted more background. Where were the boatmen and pirates in most of it? Still, I loved the gritty feel of Rain City. Glad you enjoyed this one overall too. I’m curious about the next installment.
    Great review, Jennifer 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      The background was so lacking it was painful, but the rest is pretty good.

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