The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date: September 20, 2011
Series or Standalone:  First of trilogy
ISBN:  978-0062026484
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Source: ARC
Cover thoughts: Not good. Not good. Even with the constant changes. Eh.

 Rating: C-    
Image by FlamingText.com

Hyped books are either hit or miss with me. Majority of them have sadly been a miss for me. We are not friends currently, I guess. I was so looking forward to this. It was going to be so awesome and kick butt and bam! But, in the end, it wasn’t.

My only thought when I think about this book is: I can’t believe she ___ ____ !

The story is of princess Elisa, who has just turned sixteen and is about to be married to King Alejandro. She’s not excited, to say the least, but it is her duty. Elisa is also the chosen one, a bearer of a mysterious Godstone that has given her a destiny to fulfill. The only problem? Elisa is not special. She is fat and has never done anything exciting, ever. The prophecy says she will lead a revolution, but she doesn’t believe it. Not at all.

Elisa fell flat for me. I didn’t really feel like she grew at all. When I started reading the book, I completely liked it. It was interesting, it was fast moving, it was kind of exciting. And then we jump into part two of the story, and things reached a stand still for me. There wasn’t much happening. She wasn’t impressive. Another big flaw between me and Elisa, was her weight thing.

Now, I’m a fat girl. Elisa kept saying she was a fat girl. But all of it was such a stereotype. She loved to eat, and okay I like to eat, but I don’t think about food all the time. I don’t think about how fat I am. I just live. Elisa relished in these statements—her desire for food, how she knew how fat she was, etc--and the worst part about is that I didn’t believe it at all. I never saw her as fat in my head because she didn’t act like a fat girl. What do I mean? She ran with ease. She climbed stairs. She hauled things. There’s only one instance—halfway into the book—when I knew she was fat, when I believed. And then, SPOILER, she gets skinny. Awesome. Thanks for ruining that for me. (I have many thoughts on that but I won't say them for spoiler reasons.)

The things that were so important didn’t seem that important. There was a lot of telling me SO MANY THINGS and I just didn’t believe most of it. Not at all. Something about it didn’t connect with me—and it definitely wasn’t for the lack of trying to connect.

I can go on and on about how a simple, not-special girl starts a revolution. About how her actions have no validity. About the pacing of the story—which is slow in parts and too fast in others—the characters. Things happened so easily for Elisa, and I hate when that happens. Make the character work for something!

I think there were good things in this book. The world that’s built is pretty concrete. For the most part, I really enjoyed the love interest of the story. (Who’s not the husband, even though he was fine too.) I liked the idea of the story. The battles were descriptive, the magic and the power of the Godstone were developed. I think some readers—especially if you like high fantasy—will enjoy it. Things happened that I didn’t expect—i.e. that OMG moment I listed above—and there are some really great one-liners where Carson’s writing ability shines through.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks for the review. I've been reading so many five-star reviews of this one and it's great to finally have a different perspective. This usually isn't something I pick up, but I think I still want to read it. I'm usually not best friends with overhyped books but I'm still willing to give it a shot.

    - Cialina at Muggle-Born


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