Review: Lions and Tigers and Boys by Tawny Stokes

Synopsis/Cover Image from Amazon:
The last thing a girl as awkward as Dani Gale should be doing is trying to learn the high wire. Yet that’s exactly where Dani ends up—at OZ, the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts. Trying to overcome her shyness is near impossible when her new partner—the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, and whose touch seems to give her poise she thought impossible—also seems to be sabotaging her progress.

The last thing Cai Coppersmith needs is a distraction, especially in the form of the new, cute shy girl. He needs to focus on trying not to shape-shift into a tiger on school grounds, and completing his mission to keep Dani from winning the school’s high-wire competition. In fact, the entire safety of OZ is relying on Dani not succeeding. But there’s something about the girl that draws him in. She has magic, he can feel it. So he’ll do what he can to protect her, even if it means pushing her away.

As soon as I saw where this book takes place - the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts - I was intrigued. I don't think I've ever read a YA book taking place at a circus arts school before; however, I was sure it would provide an interesting and potentially drama inducing backdrop. As it turns out I was one hundred percent corrected. 

Blending together paranormal abilities, swoony romance, and a potentially life-threating, save-the-day mission, Lions and Tigers and Boys is an exciting addition to the YA paranormal world. 

Lions and Tigers and Boys introduces Dani Gale and Cai Coppersmith, high wire partners who are slowly turning into something more. 

There's something just so utterly likable about Dani. She's best described as the girl-next-door. She's sweet and slightly awkward and she has the tendency to put her foot in her mouth more often than not. Over the course of Lions and Tigers and Boys Dani deals with the typical teenage problems - mean girls, a boy who may or may not like her, and stress from school. I thought Dani did a great job of dealing with everything, and while sometimes she did jump to rash conclusions, she always had good intentions in mind. I especially liked seeing her develop a friendship with her roommate Anna. 

Cai Coppersmith, on the other hand, is the typical YA paranormal male lead. His parents are dead; he has a group of bad guys after him - a group that even contains deadly flying monkeys; and he's been tasked with a big mission. One that might jeopardize everything he has at Oz. To put it simply, girls and relationships should be off limits, but he finds something so utterly irresistible about Dani. In some ways, I feel like Cai is very similar to Dani. He's struggling to find success at school, and he's always been the nice guy - be it standing up for the new girl or against the mean girl. There's also some great swoon-worthy qualities to him! 

Lions and Tigers and Boys is the first book in the series so it spends a decent amount of time setting up the scene but I was never once bored. For one, I loved the setting. It was so incredibly easy to picture the school, and I loved the different classes the students took - high wire, dance, magic. Also, there's some pretty adorable tigers and lions in this book! They kept me "awing!" nearly as much as the romance did. 

There was plenty of action, romance, and thrill to keep me hooked. Throughout I had so many questions swirling in my mind. Who was the wizard? Was it someone at the school? What's so important about Dani's past that they don't want her in the show? Some were answered and some weren't, but it gave me a good enough taste that I'll definitely be coming back for seconds. 

Now for the part I didn't like: the ending. It provided somewhat of a conclusion, but I thought it could've been wrapped up a bit better. 

Overall, Lions and Tigers and Boys managed to wow and daze me the whole way through. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's certainly a great way to spend an afternoon. I can't wait to see what book #2 brings! 

4 stars!! 

Lions and Tigers and Boys will be released on January 8, 2018! 

Source: eARC provided by publisher for review 

Buy Links: 

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks 

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