Boy oh boy where do I begin with this one.
I read this book for the first time back in May 2015 and fell head over heels in love. Upon re-reading it in September 2016, I am sort of stuck wondering what the hell was I thinking?!
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a New Adult series written by Sarah J Maas (the author of the Throne of Glass series). Our protagonist is Feyre, a huntress who’s family depends on her bringing back a meal for the following days. She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to feed her family, but when it turns out that the wolf is a magical creature from beyond the forrest in the fairie courts, she must face the consequences of what she has done.
Okay, let’s put this into perspective. If I was sixteen reading this book for the first time I guarantee I would have devoured it in hours and it would have instantly been added to my favourites shelf. That’s the kind of reader I was four years ago. I was young and clueless and would have soaked up every single world in this story with adoring eyes and a lust filled heart. I would have poured my heart and soul into the relationships and I would have found the main characters dreamy and swoon-worthy and I probably would have written a fanfiction or two about Feyre and Tamlin.
But I am not the same reader I was when I was sixteen.
Over a year after reading this book for the first time, I feel as though I have changed a lot as both a person and as a reader. I have been exposing myself to more diverse literature and I’m making an effort to educate myself about things I definitely did not understand before. Looking back, this book basically stands for everything that I am trying to change about myself. I was stuck in a YA bubble and reading solely about white characters written by white authors. I needed a change and I needed to educate myself. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older (yes, I understand that A Court of Thorns and Roses is a New Adult novel not YA) but I think maybe I am a bit past these types of stories now.
Without critiquing too much, I will say this: I could not stand the writing. Personally I found it rather pretentious and there were a lot of phrases (*cough* “I took a breathe I didn’t realise I was holding in”) that I find over-used and completely ineffective. If anything, they make me laugh more than they make me think of ~romance~.
If I move past the writing, I’ll admit there were some parts of this story I genuinely enjoyed. I really enjoyed the scenes where the protagonist, Feyre, wasn’t in the Spring Court and was back in the mortal lands. I enjoyed reading the dynamic between her and her sisters and father. But in saying that, I could not stand Feyre or Tamlin, who were essentially the two main characters and romance. This probably came down to the fact that there was a horrible case of instalove in this story. The relationship between those two just never made sense to me because who in their right minds falls in love that quickly. I will never understand it. However, I did enjoy Rhys’ character and I understand that he is definitely going to have a bigger role in the sequel and perhaps fix my feelings I have about all this instalove crap.
Also, I do understand that this book could be considered very problematic. Not just because of things I have already mentioned, but there are a few cases where there was ‘almost rape’ (for the lack of a better term) and it was considered Feyre’s fault (“Go back to your room Feyre before I do something bad to you”)? I will never quite get that.
In saying all of this, I am going to give A Court of Mist and Fury (the sequel) a try. Firstly, because like I said I really do like Rhys’ character and maybe he’ll help me not completely despise Feyre, but also because I have purchased the second book so I can’t let my money go to waste now. Hopefully the series somewhat improves, because if not I definitely will not be continuing.