Tag Archives: YA

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

 

Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything

Caster Chronicles #1

Rated: ★½
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Publication: December 1, 2009
Genre: YA, Southern Gothic, Urban Paranormal
Personally purchased title.

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Either I hyped myself up far too much, or I just didn’t get it for being out of intended target age range, but I could not fall for Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Though the premise was an interesting one, and the setting built it up to be part of one of my favorite genres — Southern Gothic — it just fell flat at the end.

Before it all fell away, things were pretty decent! I could get behind narrator Ethan, just a regular ole kid desperate to leave his small town behind. I mean, I grew up on the whole “I hate my parents and this whole town” genre of pop punk bands. So, I got it. I related. I was rooting for him to escape. Then, we get Lena, desperate to fit in outcast that lives moves in with her uncle, the town recluse/eccentric. She’s mysterious and stand-offish, and oh yeah, just so happens to be the girl that Ethan has been having dreams about for the longest time. So, obviously, they fall quickly in love, to the disappointment of the parent figures in their lives, as well as society. Sound familiar? It should because it’s so painfully overdone and by the book, and while there was nothing new about it, it wasn’t terrible! It was familiar and sometimes, that’s okay!

But, if it was all following a tried and true method of writing a YA urban paranormal/fantasy book, how did it fumble? Why was I let down? The answer is simple. The entire book continually set the message of trying to escape your fate, your destiny, your town. It almost beat us over the head with the message that you didn’t have to get swept away by everyone else’s expectations and could forge your own way. And then suddenly, by the end, the message dissipates. Your own path you thought you could take? Sike, you’re stuck reliving the same roads you’ve always been on because there is no escape! It was SO FRUSTRATING! And I think, that is a major departure from most of the books in this same genre.

I go more in depth on the theme of the book and the ending being such a huge disservice to what was a decent story in the Pages and Pause Screen podcast (episode out Dec 13), so if you want to know more specifics about why I had issues with it, give it a listen! Otherwise, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl simply fell flat for me. Will not be picking up the second book in the series and honestly, probably wouldn’t recommend this to readers.

 

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost
by Zoraida Cordova

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo she can’t trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

Brooklyn Brujas #1

Rated: ★★★½
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: September 6, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Personally purchased title.

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Listen, a book that takes place in the outer NYC boroughs, features witchcraft, has a potential bi protagonist, AND oh yeah, she’s latinx as well? I WAS SOLD IN A HEARTBEAT! Maybe it was wish fulfillment, but Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova was just everything I have wanted in a very long time. Because of this, it had the potential to let me down, and yet, it gave me life.

Centered around a family of brujas based in Brooklyn, Labyrinth Lost follows middle daughter Alex as she fights against who her family thinks she should be, struggles to find who she actually is, and oh yeah, travels through a magical land akin to the Underworld after a spell goes awry, risking her life in the process. What really makes this book so special isn’t the magic (though it’s pretty cool), but the emotion. The ties that bind Alex so tightly she feels like she can’t breathe, but when they’re gone, she feels lost. That everything is centered on her relationship with the family, and on the search for her place within it, while magical events are afoot, just makes this feel so real and let’s it stand out from every other typical YA magical girl story.

I would be a liar, however, if I didn’t admit that it does still follow some YA conventions — namely romance with 2 love interests. However, like with everything else in the book, Cordova gives it her own take. We have a potential love triangle that DOESN’T really involve the two parties fighting constantly and forcing Alex to choose; there are moments, yes, but mostly, they are able to put differences aside for Alex’s sake and because to do otherwise would put them all in danger. Also, it’s a queer love triangle!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova is a great read that stands out among all the other YA magical girl stories. Cordova creates multidimensional characters that feel real with realistic reactions and emotions that carry the fantastic story forward. I cannot wait for the second book in the Brooklyn Brujas series to come out!

For more in-depth commentary on Labyrinth Lost, check out the Pages and Pause Screen Podcast where I talk about the story along with my co-host Ally as it happens (Full Spoilers).

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song
by Victoria Schwab

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Monsters of Verity #1

Rated: ★★★★
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication: July 5, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Personally purchased title.

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I had been dying to read This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab after hearing from so many what a wonderful fantasy author she is. I bought the book without reading the synopsis or knowing anything about it really, while I was in Portland’s City of Books about a year ago. I just thought okay, good cover, people have said good things, I’m taking a chance! That chance lay on a bookshelf for almost an entire year before I finally picked it up for the Pages and Pause Screen podcast.

I absolutely LOVED it. I knew almost immediately this book would be a five star book. The writing was flawless and the characters were so well rounded and well written. The world-building, which can prove to be cumbersome to deal with for many, seemed seamless. Everything flowed naturally, so that any little bit of information we learned about this world, about monsters and music, came alongside the action and not in large chunks of awkward exposition that breaks rhythm.

Schwab does a fantastic job deconstructing the typical male and female roles in fantasy. Usually, we’ll see the aloof, broody male that has anger issues, and the serene, docile female that quiets the rage of the other. And then, of course, this leads to an inevitable romance, that will down the line be tested. Schwab changes everything up! She gives up the perfect gem that is Kate Harker — angry, vicious, cynical, calculating, and August Flynn — a soft boy trying to do and be good in a world that only considers him capable of being a monster, that only wants him to be a monster.

The two form an unlikely alliance considering their end goals are complete opposites — at first. Slowly, the come to know each other and then, just when you think here comes the romance, there isn’t! It ends! Do you realize how amazing this is? That, in a YA fantasy, there are two protagonists, a male and female, and they grow close and DON’T kiss kiss fall in love? I can’t remember the last time I’ve read something this compelling without romance (if you have, please do rec them to me!). It felt so good, so refreshing to have two characters meet, go through something, and then realize things are still what they are (cryptic wording simply because I don’t want to go into spoilers). Though, Schwab is fantastic at crafting their platonic relationship because if you wanted to, there’s plenty that can be construed as romantic and as hinting towards a romance. And if you don’t, then it isn’t there, taking over the spotlight of a wonderful story or being crammed down your throat.

Leaning away from the characters, the story and world is extremely interesting as well. Crimes actually have real, tangible, physical repercussions in the form of the three types of monsters: Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai. We’re told that particular acts of violence will result in their creation. At first glance, this monster system makes sense. Seems flawless, but then something happens towards the end and you realize there are cracks. This opens up what can be a great discussion on whether all acts of violence deserve to be treated the same way, whether creating one malchai by accident is just as bad as creating a malchai on purpose. There’s a reason we (in the US) have different levels of murder in the judiciary system, as well as labels that can be applied instead of murder.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab is simply one of the best YA fantasy books I have read in recent time. Set in a unique world with it’s own set of rules and norms, redefining what the other and monsters are, and putting together a pair of protagonists that fall on different ends of the spectrum in this world, yet not having them fall in a romance, are all things that set this novel apart from many others in the genre. Definitely, pick this up, find a friend, and discuss!

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

 Beasts Made of Night
by Tochi Onyebuchi

In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication: October 31, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, YA
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

If there is one way to guarantee I’ll read your book, just mention sin eaters, and I’m in. The concept of people existing for the sole purpose of consuming the sins from another is just so fascinating to me. So, when I picked up Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi, I already went in with high expectations and was not disappointed! Though, I did need to step back away from it for a moment.

The concept is a fantastic one, and not all that far-fetched considering the real life medieval use of indulgences. In the city of Kos, there exists a specific subset of people that have the ability to swallow sins. Each sin they swallow, they take into themselves, the feelings of shame, madness, revulsion. They are permanently marked with these sins. As such, you can only imagine how the sin-eaters are treated. Not with reverence, but disgust over the various marks of defect on their skins. The fact that they “seemingly” have no problem with taking another’s sins. Little do they care that the sin-eaters are forced to do so by a corrupt system that relies on them entirely. None moreso than the wealthy and the royals (I have so much I want to say about this book but with regards to the royals, I’ll simply say I love how it does not follow typical YA convention — tweet me if you want to discuss!).

There is a smidge of romance, which really leads to the amazing build-up at the end! And boy, that ending was just fantastic! I cannot wait for the follow-up. It was a great payoff to everything that Onyebuchi steadily built and weaved through from the start.

Now, all that said, why did I mention earlier that I needed to step back away from it for a moment? Easy peasy. I was reading and kept wondering WHY I wasn’t as into it as I should have been. It had all the elements and the writing was strong. So, why? I stepped away and thought about what I was having trouble with. That’s when it hit me — the culture/language, it wasn’t something I was used to. Most YA fantasy tends to come to us from a very European backdrop. We have a few that stray (The Bone Witch is one), but they tend not to really use the words. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova does, but I felt comfortable with that because I am latinx. So, after realizing that was what was giving me difficulty, I looked at myself and said get over it. If I can read Tolkien and all the gobbledegook languages he made up and not have a problem with it, this should be no different. I picked it back up, and it was night and day. Everything was so much easier. I got sucked it and loved every second of it. All it took was me identifying what was blocking me, to get my head in gear, unblock, and fall into an amazing story!

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi is an amazing YA novel that finally breaks away from traditional European fantasy. It creates its own wonderful mythos and is so extremely rich in detail, I could taste the foods, smell the smells, and believe in the culture. I really cannot convey how much I want everyone to read this, and if you think you don’t ‘get’ it, think about why, and go again.

*Small note – there is an exclusive Pages and Pause Screen podcast on the patreon talking about potential racism in ya fantasy and ya fantasy reviews, for any interested listeners.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

 The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha―one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

Book 1 of The Bone Witch series

Rated: ★★★★
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication: March 7, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, YA
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Sometimes, a popular book comes out that everyone loves and I just don’t get. I’m used to those situations happening. But then, sometimes the opposite happens and a book that has been hyped up comes out to less favorable reviews, but I love it. That always shocks me. So, when I finished The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco and immediately thought FIVE STARS GREAT FANTASTIC, then checked goodreads to see the rating, I was flabbergasted. This was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted more of.

Chupeco does tremendously well in framing the story between before and after. This is probably one of the most successful aspects of this book. It builds up the suspense and helps propel the plot forward. It kept me thrumming with anxiety as I saw the pages left to finish the book dwindle down while the two halves of the book were nowhere near close to connecting. Part of the book takes place after. After what? We can only guess the specifics but we know Tea was exiled. A bard finds her and she tells her tale to him while working on something that had me frightened, not only for what’s to come, but for her very sanity as well. The rest of the book is the story Tea is telling about her childhood, about how she got to the point she’s at by the end of the book. He story stops short of filling in all the gaps, which we’ll likely see more of in a sequel.

The story itself was well crafted, with a solid start to worldbuilding. We get the idea of these different cultures, social hierarchies, myths, etc. and how they influence everything, especially Tea’s story. Tea, a small town girl with big town magic, gets roped into becoming an Asha, almost like a magical geisha. She has to learn history, politics, song, dance, etc. all in order to provide stimulating conversation and entertainment to those that can afford it. But, Tea’s specialization requires even more of her. As she is a bone witch, she will also be in charge of defeating monsters that pop up periodically — a task only bone witches are capable of completing.

Now, this wouldn’t be a YA fantasy novel if it didn’t also include romance, which is hinted upon from the very beginning. I died because I was so intrigued by who it would be she fell in love with. I had my suspicions and I had my hopes and my suspicions won out, but my hope is still there! Trust me, you don’t want me to spoiler that because we literally do not get a name until the last page and it was SO WORTH IT.

Another thing that really sets The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco apart is the inclusion of people of color. I never once while reading felt that this was a world of white, which I absolutely loved and think we need more of, especially in fantasy. I mean, if we can have 3 headed dragons, why not a cast of diverse characters? Also, the addition of a potentially lgbtqa* character towards the end had me throwing my hands up in glee (at least, that’s how I read the character secret as).

There was only one part that did slow the book down — fashion descriptions. Yes, they may have been important in creating the story, but I honestly could not keep track of it all, nor did I make that big an effort to. It ended up becoming lines on a page to skim past.

Overall, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco is a novel that I absolutely adored. It felt unique, had me connected to the characters and world, and now has me in agony waiting for the sequel to pop up. Such a lovely and refreshing YA book!

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

 A Court of Wings and Ruin
by Sarah J Maas

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Publication: May 2, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Personally purchased title

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Finally, the end, and boy what a surprise I got! A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas might be the book I disliked the least out of the series. Of course, we got more Nesta, but more importantly, we got more action, more everything else. Though, I must warn, the reason I enjoyed this the best out of the series might also have to do with the fact that I wasn’t invested in it anymore. I stopped hoping this would be amazing, read a million spoilers, was convinced it would be horrible, then skim-read the entire thing, finishing in 3 hours.

Maas finally cut out the pity party starts she’s had with the first two books, delving straight into subterfuge and revenge instead. Such a refreshing change of pace that just continues through the book. The focus seems to have changed from being Feyre and Rhys, to hey, there are other characters and people here too and maybe we should give them some page time. This made the story quite fast-paced and much more enjoyable.

The characters… were interesting. Nesta is back and better than ever. She’s still the only reason I don’t regret this series. Still the saving grace for me. I might consider borrowing a book about Nesta from the library if she gets a spin-off (never buying a Maas book again after this series). What boggles my mind is how Maas can develop Nesta so well, yet stumble so horribly with other characters. Namely, Mor. Mor, who has been a strong, independent character that does have vulnerabilities but fights with elegance, was now reduced to a shadow of her former self. Indeed, her character felt so different from what she was in the previous book, it was jarring. Then, there was what she was put through by her so-called ‘family.’ Yes, I’m talking about the inner circle. She was put in situations where her well-being was a not even an after-thought. The situation with Az is squicky for the main reason that we have a ‘best friend’ who makes Mor so uncomfortable she will sleep with random men. We have someone who became That Guy™ but are still supposed to like him? Be okay with him? Feel sorry for him? No, thank you.

The ending, not a letdown since I already had low expectations, but not amazing either. I think one of the biggest flaws is that Maas didn’t want to tie everything up. Not that she necessarily needs to, but it very much felt like the way it was written was simply to set up the spin-off novels coming next year. It didn’t feel like the focus was on the current fight, the current struggle.

There’s a lot more I can say about A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas, and expect to hear it during the Pages and Pause Screen podcast for it next week, May 17th. That said, this book is sure to polarize fans of the series, though I’m sure there’s nothing that I, or anyone else, can say to keep the rabid fangirls from picking it up.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

 A Court of Mist and Fury
by Sarah J Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: May 3, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Personally purchased title

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

I honestly don’t know what to make of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. This being the second book ever I’ve read by Maas, it seems a pattern with her to have slow, excruciatingly boring starts that eventually builds up at the very end. How did this book manage to get four stars out of me then? Easy. Nesta Archeron, the saving grace of this series for me.

Maas continues the pity party for Feyre, though this time it is completely deserved. That said, the way Maas treats her PTSD does not feel real. It feels as though it’s just a cheap plot point to get her away from Tamlin, instead of something very real for Feyre. The fact that we could have gotten an amazing book just dealing with Feyre coming to terms with what she did, and what she did for Tamlin, and Tamlin coming to terms with what he couldn’t do, and then instead we got a book that swept all of that quickly under the rug for the sake of a rushed romance was so incredibly disappointing. I wanted better for everyone involved.

For me, everything felt flat, from the characters, to the missions, everything. At least in the first half. Then, things changed towards the end, as seems to be Maas’ style, which leaves me wondering if perhaps she doesn’t have enough story to carry out the page length she’s looking for so she drags the start. Or again, it’s probably just me.

So again, why the four stars? Minor character Nesta Archeron, Feyre’s sister. The only thing I found likable about this series so far. She’s horrible and she doesn’t apologize for it. She has passion and fights and is sure of herself. She felt like a character that shouldn’t have been, but fought her way to the front, starting as a stock evil sister in A Court of Thorns and Roses, and evolving to potential major player. She made the book exciting. The Target exclusive, Wings and Ember, made the book worth it and really made me wonder how Maas could do such a lovely job with Nesta and Cassian, with a short story, yet seems to struggle with the longer, actual books themselves.

If Nesta hadn’t been in A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, there is no way I would ever pick up the third in the series, or bother reading more Maas. But, seeing her character gives me hope that things will pick up in A Court of Wings and Ruin.

This book was read for the Pages and Pause Screen podcast (part 1 and part 2). 

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

 A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Rated: ★★½
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: May 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Personally purchased title

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I have heard such amazing things about A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. Heard about how great Sarah J Maas is at creating great characters and amazing worlds. How gripping ACOTAR is and what a wild ride it is. Told it is everything I could ever want. Well, maybe all of that is true, but I didn’t see or feel it until the very end of the book.

One of the biggest flaws for me has to be the pacing. The first half of the book had me slogging along, ready to pull my hair out. There was so little actually accomplished, I just didn’t know what the big fuss was about. Then, finally at about the 75% mark, things picked up wildly. The last quarter of the book is what saved the book. If Maas was better able to find a balance between setting story up and going through action, this would have made a world of difference.

Then, the second biggest flaw for me were the characters, mainly protagonist Feyre. She fell so flat for me. The first half, and main reason the book was such a chore to get through, sees Feyre lamenting her life and in such a state of self-pity, I had to wonder why I was reading this instead of just living my own life and fretting upon my own depression. People are allowed to feel depressed, to be in despair, but when you’re writing characters feeling these things, you need to do so with craft. It’s hard to spend a hundred pages or so stuck in the mire with them, especially when you’re just getting to know them.

So, with the faults out of the way, how did the book still get three and a half stars? That ending! It was so unexpected and action packed, it made up for the rest of the book dragging. It made me wish we had seen more of that, convinced me that yes, Maas does know what she’s doing, but had me wondering why she saved it for the end.

There’s a lot more I can talk about, and have talked about in a pair of podcasts on Pages and Pause Screen (first half, second half). In general, however, I think my thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas can be summed up by saying that it’s an intriguing start to a new series that will hopefully only pick up in the sequel!