Carla's Reviews > Graceling

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Aug 26, 2015

liked it

I was going to give it four stars. Then I realized that I started reading it about six hours ago and didn't stop reading until I finished. It is now past four in the morning, I have not written my paper, and I have class tomorrow. I think that merits some recognition.
I loved it. There are certain ways you can tell it is a debut novel, especially in the beginning. Some of the morality is a little to black and white, and certain things like, I don't know, convincing the Kings advisor to help you set up a spy network with its own agenda, one sometimes contrary to that of the king made me very conscious of it being a work of teen fantasy.
On the other hand, so much of it was extremely engaging and real. In particular, the relationship between Katsa and Po. Both were strong, distinct, interesting, and highly human characters and their friendship and love was believable and moving to me. The fact that some readers are affronted by a young adult novel dealing with sexuality is pretty silly, and causes me to wonder if these people are actually aware of what it is young adults think about. I am not saying that there cannot be love without sex, but simply ignoring the sexual element of attraction between a romantic connection between young people is dishonest, and is one of the sources behind the flatness in the romances one often sees in the young adult genre. Also, young adult fiction should be about issues young adults deal with, and SO much of that is about coming to terms with your sexuality. In terms of Katsa's refusal to marry and have children and her supposed unfairness to Po: It is Po who first suggests that they can still have a relationship in this way, and my understanding of this was that BOTH parties maintain their freedom and their connection. It is a way of being considerate of each other, of what sort of people they are. Is it so outrageous that two people can healthily love one another without marriage and children?
The pace was fast, and I applaud that. I did not mind the lack of world building as much as other people. I felt like I knew what I needed to know and anything else would have been- well, world building. Just that, without contributing to plot or character development.
At the end of the day, as I have said, the real joy in this book is in getting to know Katsa and Po. Katsa's strength leaves her with flaws that are frustrating, but which make you love her as she succeeds in spite of them. It is nice to see a female model for teenage girls with a will of her own.
And Po. He was my favorite part of the book. I am having trouble putting it into words. Probably because it is 4:30 am, and I spent the day trudging around in the freezing cold trying to focus on Cezanna motifs. But I digress.
I will edit out my undoubtedly flawed late night (early morning?) writing later, when I do not need sleep.
This is a good book. It is not the best book ever, but it is a darned ripping yarn and I look forward to seeing Ms. Cashore's writing progress with her future work.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Graceling.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.