Book Review #4: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Banner by myself.
Banner by myself.

Welcome back to another book review on Pending.!

Hey everyone! This time around I’ll be reviewing a A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. This book is highly reviewed on Goodreads, YouTube, and on the blogging community, so I had high expectations of it (and bare bones knowledge of what it was even about) when I finally decided to pick it up at target. I even made a mission out of finding a copy in store rather than wait for it to arrive off Amazon because Regan from PeruseProject said it was one of her favorites. Thanks Regan.

I’m sure not reading this but this purchase is all your fault.

If we’re judging this book off of it’s cover, then I wouldn’t have gotten as far as reading it. First time I saw it at Target it was before I had seen Regan or Sasha gushing about it and I took a gander at the synopsis, scoffed at it, put it down, came back, read it again, read the first page, put it back down, came back, looked up reviews, looked at the hardcover under the dust jacket, put it down- and then left it there.

There’s a quick sneak peek into my book shopping habits for you. That’s why Austin doesn’t go with me anymore. I’m very indecisive.

But moving on, I ended up buying, reading it, crying over it, listening to sad music over it, and I kinda want to read it again now that I’m thinking about it.

Way to spoil that review.

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Photo taken by my ever so kind boyfriend, Austin. Edited by myself.

Anyway, this novel is the first part of a new three part series from Sarah J. Maas. The titles of the other two have not yet been released (according to Goodreads). This novel in particular is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast- which means you won’t hear me b*tching about how this plot has been done before for once.

Let’s just jump clear off track for a quick sec here- I’m not mad this time that this plot is a retelling of some kind because everyone who spoke about this book before me realized that it was a retelling. Pretty much every source I saw this book on noted that it was a retelling of Beauty and The Beast. That’s all I needed. Acknowledgement. That’s it.

Back on track now.

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Synopsis time!

When Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a fearsome creature arrives demanding retribution for her crimes- which happens to be giving up her life in her village and leaving for a land treacherous to all humans. With only legends to warn her of what’s ahead, Feyre leaves with this creature, who turns out to be Tamlin- an immortal Faerie- a lethal species  humans regard with fear. Over time Feyre’s fear for Tamlin ebbs away and passion (I hate that word) takes the place of it. But an old and dangerous curse grows over their lands like a parasite, and it’s up to Feyre to stop it.

So, forgetting how badly I struggled to write that synopsis, I liked this book.

Spoiler alert: it made me cry. It’s been a minute since a book turned into a tearjerker on me. I knew it was going to be a romance, but I didn’t know it was going to be a gut wrenching, heartstring pulling, crippling romance.

Like, goddamn. Maas does a beautiful job of toying with your emotions. But besides the fact that Maas is great at getting you emotionally invested in her work, she also does a great job at giving her characters realistic obstacles to overcome. While I do think that there is one Mary Sue in this novel, it’s not our protagonist, Feyre. While Feyre is strong, smart, and skilled, she also lives in poverty while struggling to hunt for her family. She’s regarded as somewhat uneducated and also doesn’t retain any of the old teachings her sisters know- making her a bit of an outcast in her own home.

Oh, and Feyre is also so frustratingly stubborn that I literally had to close this book and remind myself that Feyre is not real and you cannot punch her two or three times before I finished it. Her emotions can cloud her judgement in times of high stress, and her mule like ways almost get her killed near the end of the book.

I took great solace in the fact that Maas made the effort to make Feyre human. Humans are stubborn, dirty, and anxious creatures. Perfect.  A+ job.

Sneak peek at what it looks like to take pictures for the blog.
Sneak peek at what it looks like to take pictures for the blog.

As for Tamlin, he is supposed to be the Beast and he’s like Prince Charming. I can’t say much without giving the ending away, but I feel like his “saving grace” was a bit of a cop out to be honest. His character is great and all (I mean, he’s supposed to be super gorgeous, strong, rich, and smell nice… what more could you want?) but I feel like his behavior towards Feyre changes so quickly that it’s a little bit dizzying.

His decision making is is strong, and even if he isn’t technically human he could have been made a tiny bit more vulnerable than he was in this novel. Who knows, maybe Tamlin won’t be the Mary Sue in the next installment, maybe it’ll be Feyre since she did get an “upgrade” at the end of this novel.

I also feel like that was a cop out… but whatever, it’s done. I have to get over it now.

Overall, I gave this book a four out of five stars. My reasoning behind knocking off a whole star cannot be said without blowing the whole ending for you, but it pissed me off enough to flick a whole star off because of it. Cop outs. COP OUTS EVERYWHERE.

Despite the ending, I still loved this book. I’m not a big fan of romance novels and this book still got me good once it came down to the lovey dovey bits. I cried when characters lives were in danger and when Tamlin pulled at Feyre’s heartstrings as if they were my own (that sounds weird). I’d happily read it again… this time without the sappy music and with more tissues.

Can’t wait for the second installment!

If you’re curious as to what I was listening to: My Spotify Reading Playlist is right here! Mainly the songs by Dry The River were my sob worthy songs.

Last but not least: What’s the next book up for review?!

The Martian by Andy Weir

Thanks for reading!

-Rachel

P.S. Read my last review here.

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