So today, I’m in the unique position of reviewing a book which I really despised despite coming to really enjoy its sequel. Obviously, I’m talking about A Court of Thorns and Roses and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.
Now on the whole, I think this series is entertaining to read. The sequel (A Court of Mist and Fury) is relatively well-written, and although the contents are admittedly pretty shallow, I think it’s still worth the read. After all, reality shows, as trashy as they are in content, still provides a relief where you just get to binge on guilty pleasures, and I consider this somewhere in that category.
However, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a flat-out TRAVESTY, and today in my review, I wanted to break down this book to show exactly why I think this that way.
So be warned! If you either really liked this book, or you’re the kind of person who feels queasy about reviewers butchering books alive, come back another day as I will be posting the second half of this review, in which I will be a much more positive and chipper soul:)
Otherwise, do continue. *dun dun DUN!*
***SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT***
- The premise/plot – Eerily similar to Twilight?
I was aware going into this book that this was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but I got more Twilight vibes than anything else. You know, the whole “bestial lover” thing, the damsels-in-distress finding themselves in sticky situations where their lovers’ instincts allow them to arrive just in time to save them, the heroines sacrificing themselves for the sake of their lovers, shedding their humanity and becoming super strong in the end…
Oh never mind, this is Twilight.
- The romance – Where you come from?!
Now the romance seems to kick-start out of nowhere. Because for the first half of this book, the romance simply meanders without purpose or intent, and it’s only after Tamlin shows Fayre a sparkly diamond pond (lol what?) that Fayre suddenly says, “Hey, I’m in love with you!”
So yeah, I’m not buying the romance in this one. It makes very little sense to me that Fayre would throw away her family again for Tamlin, especially after Feyre’s been so worried about her family all this time. I mean, what’s so special about him that she’d go gaga for him? He’s so bland!
Cough, Stockholm’s syndrome! Cough, hormones!
- The sex scenes – Children, avert your eyes!!!
And those sex scenes man…it’s so ironic that the romance would be presented in such a fluffily vague way, but when it comes to the sex, Sarah J. Maas suddenly has NO trouble burdening us with details all of a sudden: “He kissed my thighs (I breathed), he sucked my nipple, (I moaned), he kissed my vagina, (I loved it), he took his thing out (I gasped in awe), he rubbed it all over my–”
It’s like stop stop stop STOP!!!! Too much information! And that’s EXACTLY why I’m saying that romance is so Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray–Fayre and Tamlin circling each other like horny teenagers for more than half the book and exchanging suggestive banter is all you get, and they never truly get deep or personal in their conversations.
- The conflict – Oh silly, silly Amarantha.
Oh Amarantha, DARLING…you really didn’t want to win at the end of the day did you? You literally had nothing to lose from killing Fayre (you even burned her Clare alive, mistaking her for Feyre!) and yet you choose to throw her a lifeline at the last minute? SCHMUCK. This was such a blatant case of the author stepping in to save the hero…because the hero needs live, right?
And geez, that stupid riddle. I guessed the answer was “love” even before I finished reading the entire thing! Which made me wonder: who’s the bigger idiot here? Amarantha for presenting us with such an obvious riddle, or Fayre for not guessing it within five minutes? (I’m inclined to believe the latter.)
- The climax – Melodramatic.
As for the climax, it admittedly is more exciting than the romance. However, it’s still illogical as HECK that Amarantha decides to give Fayre a month’s rest in between challenges. I mean, why drag things out? Don’t she want to resolve this shit already?!
Not to mention the second challenge was such a copout…like why give Fayre only THREE levers to choose from and not ten? Because even if Fayre had made a crazy wild guess without knowing the answer in that moment, she still would’ve had 33.3% chance of getting it right!
Seriously, Amarantha. You are not bright. At all.
- The writing – KILL ME NOW.
Seriously, what more to hate about this book? Fayre’s melodramatic reactions, or the lack of sentence variety? “I flinched.” “I blinked.” “I breathed.” “I scowled.” “I gasped.” “My heart lurched.” “My gut dropped.” “My heart thudded.” “My blood raced.” “I felt this way.” “I felt that way…”
UUGH, I DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT DAMN BUTTERFLY FAYRE, SO STOP SPELLING OUT YOUR EVERY REACTION OUT FOR ME.
And good Lord, the run-on sentences. Nearly every single sentence in this book is chopped up with unnecessary commas, it not only disrupts the flow of the story in a really major way, it also made it look like the author had taken a bunch of bullet points, slapped them together with commas, and said clapping, “My work here is done!”
But seriously lady…where’s the art here?!
- The characters – Fayre = passive-aggressive.
I hate Fayre. This girl spouts supposedly “feminist” bullshit, saying that she doesn’t want anyone to coddle or tame her; and she goes about the entire book acting like a passive-aggressive child? Seriously, Fayre acted like that kid who throws a tantrum so their parent would have no choice BUT to pay attention to her.
Like when Tamlin asks Fayre to eat dinner; she would respond, “I don’t want to.” He asks her to please sit down; she says, “Why do I have to?” He asks her to join him for a walk; she says, “I don’t trust you.”He compliments her; she says, “Fuck if I care what you think about me.” It’s just like GIRL, can’t you just take something as it is without making a big fuss over it for once?!
And good lords, that damn mating ritual scene. Fayre’s victim attitude afterwards just got my blood boiling to heavens high. I really don’t want to trivialize the issue of rape here at all, but still…come on! This was CLEARLY not a case where Fayre can call herself a victim!
Because for one thing, Tamlin hadn’t even come close to raping Fayre (he just gave her a hickey), and secondly, both he and Lucien had given her EXPLICIT warning to stay locked in her room that night. Heck Lucien practically even begged her! But did Fayre listen? Nah, she gets all pissy that Tamlin’s having sex with another girl, leaves to go find a cookie (the hell?), gets jumped as a result…and then she has the audacity to blame everything on Tamlin. Like, seriously?!
Seriously, this is outrageous. I’m a feminist, but this is NOT where I can condone or sympathize with Feyre here.
Because if you CLEARLY knew that a drunken sort of person was going to be prowling the house that night, and that person HIMSELF had given you prior notice to not put yourself in harm’s way, can you really blame that person if you get jumped while ignoring said instructions? Tamlin didn’t have any conscious control over himself at that point! But Fayre did! Who’s more to blame here if she gets jumped while disregarding all the warnings?
And yet, Fayre proceeds to strut around the next day, parading her scars as though she’s a victim, and I’m just like YOU STUPID NINNY. GO JUMP IN A WELL.
Now I know I’ve been bashing on this book, but I did like a few things.
Lucien, for instance! He’s the only non-melodramatic character in this entire book, and I found myself being able to breathe whenever he entered a scene. And I strangely liked Nesta. She’s such undeniable bitch, and I can’t condone her actions during the last few years. However, there’s an complexity to her character that’s sorely lacking in others, so I really do hope to see more of her in the series.
Bottom line? Wah-wah.
Wow, does anyone have an aspirin? I ranted way too much…apologies. I know I get really fired up about these things, and that’s probably preventing people from actually listening to what I have to say (lesson of the day: if you rant at someone, they’re more likely to tune you out!), but when it comes to bad writing, I just can’t help myself. It pisses me off that popular authors like Sarah J. Maas churn out such crappy writing and non-complex characters when there’s much more talented writers who are struggling to get published in the first place. Hmm.
But please do come back for the second half of this review! I found A Court of Mist and Fury much more compelling, so I’ll be a happy camper by then:) So thanks for reading this review, and cheers! Peace out.