A book can be lackluster but still entertaining. That has become a hard pill for me to swallow. I’ve read things that are beautifully written but writing alone cannot save a book from its dullness. I have actually read more books with awe inspiring prose that couldn’t hold my attention than books with meh writing and an amazing plot.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and The Beast Retelling by Sarah J. Maas. Its marketed as young adult but is in fact a part of the new adult genre. Our protagonist, Feyre, is a poor village girl who kills a fairy while she is hunting. As payment/punishment, she must give up her life for a life to a fairy lord.
ACOTAR started off really strong but dropped off between pages 70 and 250. I experienced a mix of emotions while thumbing through the middle chapters. Maas’s writing is kind of bipolar. There were moments when she’d gorgeously paint a scene. Her imagination would literally seep off the pages and THEN there were times the writing became redundant and flat. The beginning and end were great but I really don’t know what happened in between.
Let me start off by pointing out that it felt like Feyre spent more time with Lucien than Tamlin. At least it felt like that to me. While I love Feyre and Tamlin together, their love seemed to manifest out of nowhere. While I’m aware there could’ve been a huge lapse in time, it just wasn’t explained properly maybe? Maybe a season or two had gone by? Either way, the middle of the book could’ve been more of Feyre and Tamlin bonding. I would’ve loved to have had a scene where Feyre would’ve allowed Tamlin to help her learn how to read. Or they could’ve sparred together? Their passion at the end of the book just didn’t add up to what was going in before they realized they loved each other.
I know what you’re all thinking. I denounced young adult not too long ago, but I saw so much buzz around this story. Even my favorite people on goodreads loved this book so I had to give it a chance. I’m practically clinging to its new adult label just to make myself feel better for enjoying it. That being said, ACOTAR reads like a YA novel. It moves along quickly.
I had trouble figuring out what I would rate this book. While I did love it, it had a few problems. Which I hear is common for most of Maas’s first books in her series. So I gave it three stars and I’m waiting on my copy of the second book to come in the mail. I hear A Court of Mist and Fury is the superior book. Fingers crossed.
I’M NOT A RHYS AND FEYRE SHIPPER!!! I STAND FIRM IN MY FEYRE AND TAMLIN SHIP!!
I really don’t like love triangle plots and I hope Maas doesn’t turn it into that. I would like to believe that Feyre is just as stubborn in her relationships as she is when it comes to everything else. I also really hate love triangles because it makes the lead female seem fickle. Which I don’t think Feyre is. She has an extreme case of tunnel vision. A love triangle would only ruin her characterization. At first I hated Feyre for being so stupidly stubborn, but I grew to like it. It kept her very solid towards the end.
I would also like to point out the obvious Game of Thrones inspiration. The map in ACOTAR looks like westeros. There’s a wall, a narrow sea, and religious fanatics who worship ‘the old and forgotten gods’. I wonder if I’m the only person who’s ever noticed it.
TLDR; If you’re into fantasy/paranormal YA then you will love this book. It’s got a lot of action and it moves pretty fast save for the awkward middle portion of the book. At first, the characters might seem irritating but Maas tightens everything up later for their reasons to make sense. A great read. There wasn’t a boring moment. Maas excels in storytelling. The sex in this book is sparse and very tasteful.