I really hate people who criticise this book on the underlying themes. So what, there's blood.There's sex. There's a woman who is opposed to marriage.I really hate people who criticise this book on the underlying themes. So what, there's blood.There's sex. There's a woman who is opposed to marriage. Get over it. It's a book, not the bible.
Ok, that came across as incredibly one-minded. I apologise. What I'm trying to say is that what's beneath all that is the most beautiful, engaging, emotional story that has everything you could want from a book. (Apart from a love triangle that completely takes over the whole plot, but who knows, if we're lucky maybe that'll appear in Fire :L) *Heavy sarcasm- hint hint*
I don't know why I was so affected by the romance in this book. I, personally, have read far too many cheap vampire books to tell the difference between a well written romance and a bad one, but this time, I couldn't place my finger on what Cashore did so well. So far I have several speculations, for one, Po, Katsa's lover, was actually three dimensional. Thank God. I mean he wasn't your 'average joe' mysterious, dark eyed hottie who was dangerous to be around but for some unknown reason fell unexplicably in love with this doey eyed girl who smelled nice. (sorry, tiny dig at Twilight there, it's hard to be unbiased) Yes he had a slight cockiness, yes he was attractive, but I think Cashore made him more human than that. I feel like she respected him as an important enough character to put time and effort into making him the way he was and it was definitely worth it. Not once did I slot him into a group of characters ie. 'The knight in Shining armour' Guy. He had his own problems and feelings. Throughout the book he fought, he cried, he struggled. His actions were meaningful, he fought because he had to, he cried because what happened was worthy of tears, he struggled because his problems were tough. It's almost as if the book could be written from his perspective. The other reason that I was in love with the romance was because Katsa and Po were equals. Katsa didn't treat him like a baby who needed spoon feeding but neither did she rely on him and vis-versa. They travelled together as friends, as partners, and they learned from each other and helped each other when things were difficult rather than one person continually struggling and the other always helping them along. Again. Thank God.
I really enjoyed the setting of this book too. Is that weird? I love the description of the places and the mountains and the forests and the sea. The whole kingdom was more in depth than what I was expecting from a romance novel. Don't get me wrong, it can't compare to most of the massive maps and realms that are in other books, but it does provide a decent base and surrounding for the story to get started.
I also loved the concept of the Graces. People with Graces are people who are blessed with a certain gift whether it be swimming of dancing or killing. It's like a medieval version of a superpower, except phrased a lot better. I loved the possibilities it opened up for the book and it definitely made the story when it comes to Katsa and Po's Graces, but I think Cashore could have delved a little deeper into other types of Graces. Not a complaint, just a passing thought.
I feel the only let down in this book is Katsa and really, it's only because she turned out how I expected her to be. She was just too predictable. She was a hired thug, misused by her uncle as a weapon, eventually guilt gets the better of her and she hates herself for being a monster, finds condolences with Po. She struggles with controlling her temper and has commitment issues. It's a little uninspiring. But hey. She was fun to read, a likeable character, who could fend for herself. I think Cashore tried a little too hard to separate her from all the other bland, boyfriend dependent female protagonists out there but in turn made her a different type of stereotype. You know, the girl who can beat up men, wears trousers and has her hair cut like a boys. Oh well, to be honest I prefer reading about that person. She's entertaining and there's a reason a cliché's a cliché, because it's popular.
I think Im going to wrap up now, this review screams 'Advertisement' ...so much for having an impartial review, (I would be really bad at doing this for a living.) I know there are so many areas I haven't covered, like the sex but to be honest it isn't too graphic for a mature teen to handle, and I know that there are so many anti-marriage comments from Katsa, but that's because Katsa is that kind of character and if she believed in anything else then people would complain that she was unrealistic. My point is, people shouldn't let themselves be put off by that. Cashore has this ability to make you care for the characters and she has this spark with her writing; she has an ability to write moments. There are so many moments, sweet ones, sad ones, ones that make you gasp because you honestly didn't see them coming, and those are the things that make a book. Those are the things that makes 'Graceling' a good book....more
**spoiler alert** I have literally just finished an eight-hour read in one sitting, well two actually. I went to bed at three in the morning because s**spoiler alert** I have literally just finished an eight-hour read in one sitting, well two actually. I went to bed at three in the morning because staying up later would just be ridiculous. Then again I never stood up, as I continued to read in the morning, so technically it's one sitting but anyway...
Honestly, having read several of the reviews that have been submitted I don't get why so many people hate this book. It's everything you could want in a YA dystopian novel, action, romance, fear, excitement...blah blah blah and so on. I just can't be bothered to write down all the possible cliched adjectives that could be used to describe a book.
The long and short of it is, is that it's a good read. There wasn't a single moment when I was bored, or when I wanted it to pick up the pace, which is a very important factor for me, and exactly the reason why I can't finish books like 'Matched.'
I also love how ruthless the author is at the end, but then again that's my personal opinion. War has casualties, so when Will and her family got killed off I understood without complaint, I actually liked it.
Admittedly the book is farfetched, the concept of people only having one side to their personality and nothing else, the jumping on and off moving trains, Tris at the end with a gunshot wound yet still able to run around and fight like normal, yeah, it's very farfetched. But people have to remember, its a BOOK! so what if it's farfetched, every book is farfetched, Harry potter is about a world of wizards, Twilight is about sparkly vampires with special powers and the hunger games is about a a Tv show which has people fight to the death. People should get some perspective, albeit Harry potter and the hunger games are incredible novels.
This this gets me on to the similarities between the hunger games and Divergent. I don't actually think there are that many other than the cover. Peeta and four are completely different, for one, four isn't a sweet romantic guy, in fact at one point, he chucks a knife at Tris' ear, in a badass way, not a creepy one. The premise sounds similar, the initiation and the ranks and so on but if you have actually read the book, they are completely different no matter what other people say.
ugh, I can't be asked to finish this review. I haven't eaten in what seems to be 24 hours and I'm tired. Chances are I'll come back in a few days and think that what I've written is rubbish :P I'll finish it another time but for now, I'll just say that it's a brilliant read and that it's definitely worth your time x...more