Shelf Love

019. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas with Penny Reid

Short Description

Penny Reid (Knitting in the City Series, Winston Brothers) and I discuss A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It’s a dark fairy tale that blends Beauty and the Beast, the Hades/Persephone myth, and the Hunger Games.

In addition to asking the deep existential questions - At what cost freedom? Freedom at what cost?! - we talk about how your first love isn’t always your last love, YA, and how there’s strength in being a marshmallow.

Penny will be back in a future episode to discuss her new publishing venture, Smarty Pants Romance.


scifi and fantasy romance, romance novel discussion

Show Notes

Shelf Love:

Guest: Penny Reid

We read:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Books mentioned:

Book recommendation requests:

  • Penny’s 12-year-old-going-on-75 year old son has read All the Books. His favorite books include The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov and he recently enjoyed The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin. He didn’t like Dune. How do we introduce him to the romance genre?
  • Penny is looking for recommendations for awesome romance books to gift her daughter on her 16th birthday (6 years from now).
  • Penny is looking for character-driven erotica suggestions, along the lines of C.D. Reiss.


  • Grief is a spiral
  • Zeus is toxic
  • Outgrowing a relationship is OK
  • There’s strength in being a marshmallow
  • Would you trade your freedom for a golden cage
  • Did you know that Ripley in Alien was originally written as a man? (Anyone have a paper on this?)
    • “The reason it still resonates with women today in the industry is how real Ripley is, Weaver adds. "So many people in the business would have said, ‘Well now we have to make her more sympathetic.’ And then it’s suddenly this token scene that shows we’re actually feminine after all, and that’s frankly bulls---, because that doesn’t happen in real life. Ripley doesn’t have time to try to be sympathetic, you know?” she added.”