Somehow, I try to review a book that isn’t really a book. Also, I check in with where I’ve been and what’s going on now. I’m also going to be posting more to the blog, since there are a lot of videos I’ve failed to put up here because even just getting videos made has been a struggle. Grad school + working full time is hard, guys. I’m trying.
Don’t worry guys, I’m nowhere near off the SJM bandwagon. I’m just saying that I had some plot and character issues with this book, which isn’t normal. The review itself is spoiler free, but there IS a spoiler section that I give you plenty of warning about! I’m really looking to engage with you guys, so give me a shout in the comments.
You guys all know that I love Sarah J. Maas. Probably a bit too much. But I’ll admit that I was worried about her new series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, because it’s really had to do a Beauty and the Beast retelling well…
I should never have worried!
We’re back! This week, we had a higher number of reviews than normal (mostly because I actually helped Michaela out) and also a lot of other cool stuff! Also, I almost out-read Michaela, which is almost unheard of. Making a huge push as school comes to an end, I guess. Without further ado, here we go!
- 30 Seconds to Disagree: The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May
- 30 Seconds to Disagree: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
- Gretchen’s Worth It Wednesday on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
- Michaela’s April Comic Pull
- Gretchen’s Review of The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
- Michaela’s Review of The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!
Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Goodreads Description: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Why it’s worth it: Alright, listen, I know you aren’t surprised to see this. My love of Sarah’s books is probably going full-on obsession at this point. However, the newest book in this series just came out yesterday, so I couldn’t NOT do it.
This is a pseudo-retelling of Beauty and the Beast plus faeries, so already this was–for me, at least–a rocky sell. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite childhood fairytale, but also one of the most problematic, and I’m not always great with faeries.
I can officially say that there is one version of the Beauty and the Beast that I don’t find extremely creepy. The whole kidnapping turned love thing is touchy, but Sarah makes it work. You really come to understand why Tamlin does what he does, and how much he wishes that he didn’t have to. Feyre is also not some helpless girl who can be swayed by a library. She is constantly searching and pressing buttons and trying to figure out what is going on around her. When they start falling in love, it’s in despite of themselves and what they think is their duty–but not in a bad way. They both get so focused on what they think is best for everybody else that they try to ignore the answer right in front of their faces.
My favorite twist on the tale is the ending, but of course I can’t say too much about that. Let me just say that this is no trifle where “true love’s kiss” can undo everything with a snap, and there is no last minute, too perfectly time save. There are mistakes made. There are battles fought. There are lives lost. It’s no Disney ending. That’s probably what makes this so worth it.
Read it if you’re looking for: fairytale retellings, faeries, magic, action, adventure, romance, strong female characters, strong supporting cast
I started out this blog talking about the two different parts of me, and how they work together. I’m going to end it by talking about how they stand apart. Granted, I’m going to be focusing more on my Writing major, just because the Poetics is a Writing Department class, but trust me when I say that the point I’m about to make is applicable to my English major too.
Yes, this post is required as a final project. Yes, there are question guidelines. I’m about to do a very odd thing and copy them out for you (sorry Professor. I swear there’s a reason for this):
- What do you make and is it similar in any way to the art practices we’ve read and/or talked about in class?
- Why do you make it, and do you see your ideas aligning with or being similar to the “why” of anyone we have read and/or talked about in class?
- What is the relationship of language to what you make, and is this relationship in any way similar to anyone we have read and/or talked about in class?
Using your digital archive and ideas, address
- What are your influences and how have they influenced what you have made up to this point? Who or what do you admire in your field, and why? (Use videos, images, other archives, etc.)
- What do you aspire to create, and what have you learned or encountered in class (if anything) that may affect your processes going forward? (Note: this can be a negative effect. That is, “Now that I’ve seen how horribly wrong thing XYZ can go, I want to avoid that route…)
- What was the most influential/important reading and/or concept to your own processes of making?
You know what I’m absolutely sick of? Realizing there are two ways I want to answer these questions. Then realizing that one of them is just another story I’m afraid to tell.
“What I mean is that within the University there could exist a relationship with word, language, thought, tradition, and power that might run counter to the relationship a poet might want to have with word, language, thought, tradition and power.” – Sarah Vap, End of The Sentimental Journey
Recently, in my Renaissance Literature class, the professor asked us what we were going to be reading over the summer. My answer would have been Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses. But I didn’t answer, because people starting saying “Milton” or “Absalom, Absalom.” My answer didn’t seem like it fit.
So, today, when I answer these questions, I’m not going to do any of us the disservice of lying or telling you half-truths. I’m going to tell you BOTH truths. I’m going to answer you from the
and from the
Bear with me.