I think YA novels have begun to run their course for me. I'm just consistently underwhelmed and often frustrated at many of the genre's tropes: the foI think YA novels have begun to run their course for me. I'm just consistently underwhelmed and often frustrated at many of the genre's tropes: the focus on romance, the unbelievable "I love you" speeches (that are so sarrchrine sweet I sometimes just skip them), and the internal (and external) monologu-ing. You know the "she wanted to love him, but she couldn't even love herself. she didn't even understand herself. how could she with [insert common insecurity]? how could she with [slightly uncommon insecurity that shouldn't really be a problem to date someone]?" rhetorical questions are a literary device that are just murdered in YA novels. I have little patience with them.
But don't let that rant above lead you astray. The darkest part of the forest isn't a bad book; in fact, if you enjoy faeries and their lore then you should definitely check it out. this book just cemented all the things I definitely do not like in books, and a lot of these tropes are common in YA....more
This book was enjoyable. I feel weird because I don't have anything really positive or negative to say about it. It just kind of existed for me. OH noThis book was enjoyable. I feel weird because I don't have anything really positive or negative to say about it. It just kind of existed for me. OH no that's a lie; I do have some things I really appreciated about the book.
1) The heroine didn't, at any point, tell me how ugly/unattractive/unappealing she was: Oh MY GOD this was so refreshing. I'm so used to YA where the girl mentions (or goes on and ooon) about how no one will ever love because she's just so not pretty. Which is then followed up with a description that definitely falls into the bounds of conventionally pretty, and/or most of the book's population being astounded by her beauty. And this book is set up in a way that would naturally feed into that self-deprecation (it's a body switch, after all!), but Khanani avoids it altogether and it's wonderful. I mean, okay, maybe I would have liked a little more reaction to not being in her own body anymore (because that's a huge deal!) but less is much MUCH better than more in this case.
2) The active passivity of the heroine. Which sounds really counter-intuitive. Why would you appreciate a heroine who actively tries not to do anything? Well, it created a character like I've never seen. She was so content to not be some chosen destiny child, not to start a revolution, not to tear the world down around her. She was actually surprisingly similar to Katniss in this way: both just wanted to live quiet, content lives with those they loved, and without having to answer to anyone. It created an interesting dichotomy within her: she's an incredibly giving and unselfish character, often placing the needs of those around her above her own needs and safety. But on the same hand, her desire to remain passive makes her selfish because she places the value of her own happiness over those that she would rule (aka the girl who took her place would be a terrible terrible leader).
3) Thorn's relationship with Kestrin. By the end of the book (view spoiler)[ she is not in love with him. In fact, it's not even confirmed if she has strong romantic feelings for him. She trusts him, and cares for him deeply, but does not love him a romantic way. That's just so- ugh I can't even tell you how pleased I was with that. I am so not into instant love, or forced romance in any book, movie etc. so I was living for that revelation. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, decent read, definitely worth taking a look if you're into fantastical YA.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really wanted to love this book. I really did. The concept is amazing and the work behind building the world and mythos is great. And I love me someI really wanted to love this book. I really did. The concept is amazing and the work behind building the world and mythos is great. And I love me some urban fantasy.
I can see the appeal of this book. If you love romance, especially of the destined, undeniable, soul shattering kind, you will love this book. If you revel in love at first sight this book is for you. I'm a romantic, but of the slow burning kind. I love to watch love develop in the sidelines. I fall in love with the characters, and they slowly fall in love with each other and it's subtle, you know? I'll always return to Todd and Viola from The Knife of Never Letting Go : their love developed so naturally that it didn't needed to be stated endlessly. I fell in love as they fell in love. I was as invested as they were. their love was told through their interactions with each other and with the world: in a glance, or a word, or a thought. Not in endless paragraphs of poetic language. And their love did not consume the entire book. it existed not as the plot or to move the plot or to somehow heighten the plot (although it certainly did add some stakes), but to complement the plot.
That was my main issue with this book. There was a story introduced and it was fascinating. Like I was ready for this awesome plot and then the two main character met and. .. it just hit a wall. suddenly it was all about their love and... I suppose you could argue their love is the plot, but that's not what the book had been implying and I kept waiting to get back to it. and it never really does? the end of the book was not a satisfying conclusion nor did it entice me to read the next book. I'm fine not knowing how this torrid, destined/doomed love affair ends.
tl;dr: this book was not for me, but it is definitely a good read for others. if you love romance and fantasy, this book is perfect! recommended for: city of bones fans
UPDATE: reading reviews for book 2 and apparently the romance drops of significantly. if this is true, then I might check it out. as long as this lack of romance is not made up for with certain characters lamenting about said lost romance....more
I don't even know what to do with this... like I want to love it because it's Peter Pan but I found it kind of... cheap... almost. I'm seeing the showI don't even know what to do with this... like I want to love it because it's Peter Pan but I found it kind of... cheap... almost. I'm seeing the show in a few weeks, so we'll see how it translates to stage....more