A fantasy spin on a very familiar formula, Harvest Moon was definitely oriented for younger audiences.
The woods draw her, but she can’t figure out why. It all starts with a book that calls to her. Then wolves. From there, Jess finds out that her entire life has been a lie. Now safely sequestered away with fairies, Jess has many decisions to make—and a kingdom to run.
Harvest Moon followed almost every young adult trope to an absolute T. To name a short few: a young girl hidden away only to discover she was a princess from another land. A love triangle quite e in which she must choose between her heart and her duty (I’ll talk more about that in a minute). Unseen magical powers that she managed to harness almost immediately. And, of course, she was super powerful. Once again, a very obvious, very familiar formula. Fans of YA books like that would be delighted, I think.
Now, onto the love story.
I liked the dichotomy the author presented with “follow your heart” and “a queen must do her duty.” Sure, it led to a love triangle, but whatever. Unfortunately, the initial love story was presented in a creepy way that made me cringe and wonder just what Jess was thinking. While I think it was probably crucial to her development, the way things progressed just left me not feeling it. I think it was more of the way that she forced herself to comply, even though she clearly did not want anything to do with him romantically. Platonically, as if he were her sworn bodyguard or something, things would have felt much more natural, I think. The trope might work for some people, but it didn’t work for me.
I liked her relationship with her dad very much. Her origins were from a loving family rather than a broken one, which I feel like is another common theme in many young adult novels. Thankfully, Harvest Moon managed to deviate from that.
The writing style needed a little more help with description. I think there was quite a bit that could be improved with the narrative in general with some extra time spent on editing. Dialogue was clunky and awkward in some places and just didn’t flow the way it needed to. Things felt rushed once she crossed over into the world of fairies. I don’t think that helped my feelings on the love story.
Buy it here!