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Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (R. Carson)

September 5, 2017

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Series: Fire and Thorns (Book 1)

* Means there is a spoiler at the bottom. Don't want to see the spoiler? Don't scroll to the very bottom.

Color me confused.

This book was 423 pages long. I understood maybe 210 pages? If I was lucky. There just seemed to be so many twists and turns and plot holes and, most of all, just this general sense of meh. It wasn't necessarily a bad book, but there was nothing about it that screamed "good book" either. It was just...okay. Which normally would earn it 3 stars, except for the ending which was, in my opinion, a little ridiculous. Like I read it a couple times and it still seemed kinda weird to me but I was scrolling through other reviews on Goodreads and maybe it's just me because so far I've only found one other person who has mentioned it... I just thought it was really strange and one of those things that people would mention but...

Anyway, Elisa is the bearer of the Godstone, which (little iffy on this because I didn't quite get how this worked but I read this after a run, I was a little tired so could have just been my mush brain) she received when a shaft of sunlight shined on her navel (?) and she is now responsible for a "great act of service" in which she might (and probably will, if past records are any indication) die. But first, she gets married to a king who promptly asks her to pretend that they are... not married? So that he can use it to his political advantage? And then gets kidnapped and that's about where I a) became officially confused and b) lost interest and wandered off to write essays. Me deciding to write essays instead of reading is a bad sign. I hate essays. Because once she gets kidnapped her personality kinda changes and not necessarily in a good way?

I think the hard part for me was that (and other people have mentioned this too) as soon as she started losing weight all of a sudden her Godstone had all these new properties, and she turned into this completely different person, which (I think) sent the opposite message that Carson might have been going for when she introduced Elisa as someone who loved to eat and was overweight. The message that seemed to come across was if you lose weight all of your problems would be magically solved, and I think it should have been more along the lines of acceptance and empowerment and stuff like that.*

+ I didn't necessarily have to drag myself through this book, I just didn't necessarily like it.
+ Elisa was actually a pretty strong character. There were some moments that seemed out-of-character for her where she seemed to complain more but other than that...
+ My favorite character was the prince, who showed up for like .5 seconds. I wish he had been in there more.

- The ending.**
- The message it sent about weight and losing weight.
- The title takes a second to figure out. Like it doesn't make any sense until you think about the whole thorn ritual that she goes through and then it kinda makes sense.
- There was way less magic than I thought. Like way less (as in almost none).

I'm not finishing the series... I just don't like it enough to make the time worth it.

* Also, the fact that her own husband all of a sudden didn't recognize her when she weighed less and acted more attracted to her really bothered me. His son recognized her right away, but he treated her like he'd never met her.
** I'm imagining this as like a pinwheel/fidgit-spinner thing on her bellybutton. She saved the day with a pinwheel on her bellybutton?! I'm... not convinced.

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