booknook — Young Adult book reviews4.5 starsBefore Valkyrie Rising, I had never read a book about Norse mythology. This was the perfect book to introduce me!Valkyrie Rising is an action-packed, snarky romance that tell the story of Ellie—a girl who kicks some serious ass! Ellie is a fantastic main character. She's very easy to relate to and develops beautifully throughout the book. She starts out as a girl longing for her independence, but she doesn't really have the strength to do anything about it. But by the end of the book, she's fiercely independent, kicking serious ass, and really takes matters into her own hands. I LOVE HER!The romance in this book is phenomenal. Ellie and Tuck have terrific chemistry! They have some excellent sarcastic, playful banter that had me giggling with excitement! Their romance develops really slowly, which is awesome! No insta-love here! Tuck is made out to be a bit of a "grazer" when it comes to relationships, but we really see him change throughout the book. He's definitely a guy that will make you drool and swoon and all those other lovey-dovey verbs.Graham is the one really annoying character in the book, but he is the kind of guy you love to hate. I don't mind hating characters in books as long as it's intended and as long as the main character hates that person too. It only drives me crazy if the main character tolerates someone else's annoying horrible behaviour and doesn't do anything about it. Graham is a really overbearing and overprotective brother who drove me completely bonkers. But Ellie really despised his behaviour and one of the purposes of the book is Ellie striving to break free of Graham and start leading her own life and making her own decisions.Ingrid Paulson kept me engaged and loving the story from start to finish! The end of Valkyrie Rising in particular is packed with action, intensity, and super epic ass-kicking! I loved learning about the Norse mythology; it was such an easy world to fall into! Ultimately this is the story about a girl looking for independence and how one summer sets the stage for her to finally grasp it. It's definitely a coming of age story that a lot of people can relate to (despite the fantasy elements ;)).I highly recommend this book if you want a fun, heart-warming romance, a bit of sibling rivalry, and a strong heroine who really rocks the story!