Saturday, 19 March 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - review

Hey guys!

I've just finished A Court of Thorns of Roses by Sarah J. Maas and had to share my thoughts with you immediately.



ACOTAR is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and is set in a land where humans are separated from faeries by an inpenetrable wall. The faeries in this tale are beautiful, but extremely dangerous creatures that humans live in constant fear of. Feyre is a human, hunting in order to protect her family. One day, however, she hits a target that will change the course of her life, and the lives of the entire faerie kingdom forever.
This is a dark tale, filled with romance, fantasy, and bloodlust, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good retelling!

I have some mixed feeling about this one, however overall I did thoroughly enjoy the story. I found the characters slightly difficult to connect with for various reasons that I'll discuss in the spoilery section, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the romance present in the novel. However, the characters were very interesting and their dynamic was extremely engaging. I loved the politics behind the relationships between faeries and humans, and how this complicated some of the relationships in the novel.

In regards to the plot, I really, really enjoyed it! I'm finding that I love retellings of fairy tales, and while ACOTAR is only a loose retelling, I could definitely feel the Beauty and the Beast vibes which I adored. It did get quite violent and bloody in parts which I found quite difficult to read, so I wouldn't recommend this for anyone probably under around 15, or if you're sensitive to that kind of material. This is a very dark book!

Whilst I definitely prefer the Throne of Glass series over ACOTAR, I am very excited to see where this series goes, and overall found it an enjoyable read!

Rating: 3.75/5

SPOILERY SECTION:

Characters and relationships:

I found the characters and relationships in this novel the most difficult aspect for me to engage with. Feyre was definitely a strong protagonist, who was quite well fleshed out with a variety of layers. However, I did find her slightly difficult to relate to due to the constant walls that she put up to hide her emotions and appear stoic. Tamlyn I really enjoyed, and found easier to connect to in regards to his expression of emotions (but how frustrating was it when he wasn't saying anything at all when they were Under the Mountain!!). My favourite characters, though, would have to be Lucien and Rhysand. I found Lucien super funny and complex, initially appearing as an antagonist, who you later find out is such a wonderful and damaged man. Rhysand obviously appears and awful person, but he has reasons for every single thing he does, and ultimately is the one who saves Feyre's life, and therefore the lives of all in the faerie realm. Let's wait and see for the rest of the series though to find out what his true motives were...

In terms of the relationship between Feyre and Tamlyn, I found it pretty disappointing. My problem wasn't that it was insta-lovey, as I didn't really find it that way, but rather that I didn't entirely feel the chemistry (apart from physical) between them. There were a couple of conversations that they had that made up for this slightly, but they seemed to barely talk to one another and yet fall deeply in love. Sarah J. Maas' incredible romance writing does lead me to partly forgive this however, as how gorgeous are her love scenes??
Whilst this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and so it was inevitable that it would be Tamlyn that Feyre would fall for, I found it extremely obvious, and think maybe it could have taken a bit longer for the romance to develop, with more talking scenes between the two of them.

Plot and world:

The plot and world-building was for sure my favourite part of this novel, I adored it!! This world, as Sarah J. Maas' always are, is incredibly intricate and so, so interesting. I love how she incorporates politics into her worlds, and this was done fantastically in ACOTAR.

I loved the plot twists all throughout this novel, as we slowly begin to understand what this terrible 'blight' is - I was absolutely not expecting what was to come, it was done so well!! I never even considered that Tamlyn was unable to tell Feyre what was really going on, and him needing a human girl who killed on of his own to fall in love with him!! I guess I should have seen it coming, being a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but I was so blown away!

The only issue that I had with the plot was the very ending, when Feyre ultimately is turned into High Fae. From the moment her and Tamlyn met I guessed this was going to happen, and found it pretty disappointing and a cop-out. I hate comparing books, but it happens a lot in YA when a love interest is immortal and the other is not, they always end up becoming immortal one way or another. I feel that it would have been more interesting if this hadn't been the case, and they'd had to deal with Feyre growing old while Tamlyn did not.

I know I've been pretty critical with this one, but don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy it!! I found it an interesting one to deconstruct and consider flaws in the plot and characters, but I definitely recommend it for lovers of retellings and Sarah J. Maas' writing.

Let me know in the comments what you thought of ACOTAR!!

Love always,

Ari


24 comments:

  1. Omg love this book I agree completely! :D

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  2. Your review is spot on! I loved Lucien a lot in this novel. I thought he would be the antagonist, someone who tried his best to get rid of Feyre, but he turned out to be funny and smart and amazing! I had a suspicion that Feyre would turn into Fae one way or another. I've read a small excerpt from the next book, and she is by no means dealing with it well, which will make for an interesting character arc!
    Great review :)
    Erika @ Books, Stars, and the Pages in Between

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    1. Thank you so much! Yeah, I'm super excited to see where the series will go, Sarah J. Maas is definitely one for writing series that continue to get better and better! xx

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  3. It seems like we both had pretty similar feelings about this book! I also enjoyed it, but wasn't 100% sold on the romance. I liked the characters of Feyre and Tamlyn separately, but didn't know that they were convincing as romantic interests.
    I absolutely loved Lucien and Rhysand as well though! I can't wait for the next book in this series :)
    Awesome review!

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    1. Thank you!! They were definitely all very interesting characters! And I'm so excited to see where the story's gonna go!! xx

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  4. I loved this book very much and I admit it was obvious Feyre would fall for Tamlin. Great review

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  5. I didn't love this book like most, but I will definitely be on the spoilers prowl when ACOMAF publishes (I don't think I'll be able to stomach reading it). I hope you love ACOMAF!

    Fabulous review. :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yeah, I will definitely give ACOMAF a go, hopefully it will continue to get better as the series goes on. xx

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  6. Been having a tough time getting through her books, to be honest. So then I tried reading this one and relatively enjoyed it. I think I'll read the next one, but it's not like a HAVE-TO read type of deals. :)

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    1. I totally get that! I do adore the Throne of Glass series though, am halfway through it so far and enjoying it so much!! xx

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  7. Yeah, this one is marketed as New Adult instead of Young Adult for the violence and sexual content. You make a good point about the chemistry between the two main characters being mostly physical, something that I hadn't thought of until now. Like you, I enjoyed ToG more. Love Rhysand.

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    1. Yeah that makes sense!! Rhysand is such a great character! xx

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  8. I loved ACOTAR as much as I enjoyed Throne of Glass, but I did have trouble getting into it for the first 100 pages or so. I hope ACOMAF lives up to the second half of this book and keeps on being amazing. :D
    I am Team Tamlin. But I like Rhysand too.

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    1. So glad that you enjoyed it!! Yeah I had difficulty with the beginning as well, overall really enjoyed it though! xx

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  9. I loved ACOTAR but not as much as TOG series!

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  10. You know I still haven't read this! Your review reminded me that I really need to pick it up! I think this year will be the year of the retellings and this book is definitely one I need to pick up! Great review!

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    1. Glad it was a reminder, I'm sure you'll love it!! Thank you! xx

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  11. Love your review!

    While I adored this book, I TOTALLY SEE WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM. Like the odd relationships going on here. And Feyre doing dumb things. This book was basically:

    Every character: Feyre don't do the thing.
    Reader: Feyre don't do the thing.
    Feyre: *does the thing*

    And the dumb thing about it is that even though she does something ridiculous, IT ALL WORKS OUT. Like- HOW????? And it's similar to how cliche the end was, where she became High Fae herself. Every action she'll do, no matter how idiotic, will turn out good in the end. Okay then...

    You are so right about the awesome romance writing! I really wasn't as big of a fan of Tamlin as other people were, but I still managed to enjoy the romance to a degree. But with the hints of that love triangle stemming up in the next book, well,

    *side eyes series*

    - Aila @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. I know right haha that sums it up!! It sure will be interesting to see where it all goes! xx

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  12. Oh wow, thanks so much for the review~! I usually only hear rave reviews, so it's good to see what I might possibly dislike about the book :)
    Insta-love isn't a fave of mine...but yeah I might still read ACOTAR, just because Sarah J Maas blew me away with Throne of Glass!

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    1. No worries, glad you liked it!! Yeah, for sure read it, I still really enjoyed it despite the few problems I had with it. Yess, Throne of Glass is amazing! xx

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