*A 2019 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book*
A dark, twisted, unforgettable fairy tale from Elana K. Arnold, author of the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of
The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: When the king dies, his son the prince must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This i...more
Secrets, like memories, do not disappear just because they are buried by snow or time or distance.
What an ugly, awful little book. I thought it was pretty awesome, too, but then I’m a fan of Arnold’s dark twisted feminist stories that most other people seem to hate.
It looks like Arnold is continuing her trend of writing horrible, depressing books that leave me in a constant state of anxiety while reading. What Girls Are Made Of ripped my heart to shreds last year, and this dark fairy tale just ...more
First off, the writing is gorgeous. Elana is extremely talented. This is a feministic ...more
Called it! Called it!
Oh boy, this novel is going to get so many 1-star reviews! This is what happens when a book like this is marketed as YA. Are there going to be any teens that would read and like it? I doubt it. This is a novel created for lovers of literary fantasy and ugly ancient fairy tales. It is written in a simple language, it does not have a lot of characters or drama. It is quiet and dreamlike. It might get a Printz nod (I hope) from librarian ...more
“For Emory to take his father’s place as king, he must do as his father had done, and his father before him. He must conquer a dragon and rescue a damsel, and take that maiden as his bride.”
I get what this book was trying to do, I really do, and I appreciate it, but I just don’t personally think it was well done. This is a play on the “damsel in the tower, guarded by a dragon, and a brave knight comes to save her” b ...more
“That is the way of being a woman, to carve away at herself, to fit herself to the task, but, also, to be able to carve herself in a diff...more
Damsel has an absolutely gorgeous cover, one of the loveliest I’ve seen, with a glowing title wound about with vines, bleeding hearts and other flowers.
But on closer examination there’s something just a little bit off about the cover image. An anatomically correct heart. A golden spur with a myriad of sharp points. A dragon’s pointed tail. It’s a bit disturbing. And it’s an apt metaphor for the contents of Elana K. Arnold’s book, where the fa ...more
Also, Emory was a weird guy, like sometimes he felt cocky but okay, but then he would have these strange times where he'd do weird things like drag Ama around by a leash. Another thing was, I hated Ama too, so it was hard for me to feel sorry for her, or anyone really. I think I felt sorry for Tillie the most—she needed to get the hell out of that castle! Pawlin was also sup ...more
Omg I need time to recover from how badass that ending was. Lemme start off by saying this book made me uncomfortable. From Emory's manipulation (I wanted to kill that motherfucker from the start) to the sexual assault scenes. But books like this are meant to be uncomfortable. They call out misogyny and disgusting behaviors our society tolerates and show how wrong that is. We should never be comfortable with the horrors women face.
I've seen so many negative reviews o ...more
- Bestiality: -1 star
- 'Yard'? Can't body parts be named properly if we already are considering bestiality? There is a whole chapter in there aptly named 'The King's Yard', in which they valiantly try to discuss the aforementioned 'yard'. And I'm not kidding. -1 star
+ Some ideas that I loved (see above): +1 star
- Some ideas I hated (see above): -1 star
+- Feminism: eh... while it's totally cool, we should consider that (view spoiler)[there are ...more
This book was- disturbing and gripping at the same time. The feminist and dark themes tackled were hard at times but incredibly vital. Overall, it was pretty good! Not amazing, but I definitely loved the ending
“Damsel” tells the story of a prince off to slay a dragon and rescue a girl who he will take home to be his queen. When she awakes she has no memory of her rescue, her family or her very name and is left at the mercy of the prince who takes her back to his kingdom and mother, but things are not as they seem and she soon finds herself struggling to come to terms with her present while hunting for the answers in her past.
Where to begin because holy shit. How about w ...more
TW: rape, self-harm, abuse, animal abuse, graphic violence, bestiality
This is not a book for everyone, but it was the book for me.
I can feel all the people cringing away from this book, and know that you don't have to read it, and no one will fault you for not reading it. I can feel all the DNFs coming this way, as it's a very graphic book marketed towards the YA audience, and DNFing is a completely valid thing to do.
As you can see by the long list of trigger warnings, this can be very da ...more
You will not be able to put this book down. You will not be able ...more
There were things I really loved about this and then there were other things that legitimately turned my stomach. Because of that I've been struggling on what to rate this book. I simply can't justify the things I loved without shedding light on the topics I had trouble with because HOLY TRIGGERS, there's a lot. But at the same time I can't write a review on the things I had trouble with without recognizing the thin ...more
I don’t know how the heck I even got here. And I don’t know how the heck some books make it through publishing. Books like this. And why books like this are being marketed as YA when they are clearly not.
I think the main idea here was interesting. And I guessed it right away. The origin of the damsel. And if this were a true YA book it could have been something great.
But it was just so flat ...more
I received a copy in exchange for a honest review.
This is going to be such a divisive book; looking down the ratings my friends have given it on Goodreads, there is such a variation between 4 stars and 2 stars. It is a dark, provocative and slightly terrible novel, but it doesn’t promise to be anything different. It is a book about the treatment of women in a world dominated by men, and it is depressing.
Before I go on, I want to state something: I don't believe this book can be easil ...more
Okay, this is going to be one of those books with very polarizing reviews. You’re either going to love it, hate it, or be in the middle (like me) where you like the writing and message, but you’re also shaking your head going, WTF?
Firstly, here are the trigger warnings: Sexual assault/rape, mental and physical abuse, harm to animals, suicide and self harm (it’s discussed), imprisonment.
Even though this is a dark fairy t ...more
But I really admire Elana K. Arnold and I really think that books like hers are very important and can even change your perspectives somehow. I really wish I had read her books back when I was a teenager.
“All kings, for as far back as our memory goes, are made the same way. The prince must venture alone away from Harding. He must find the dragon. He must conquer the dragon, and free the damsel from captivity. When he returns home with his prize, he has proven himself worthy of the crown and is made king.”
This is a weird d ...more
"One should not make a pet out of a wild beast."
Told through the classic "prince saves the damsel in distress from the big bad dragon" tale, Elana K. Arnold explores the most severe forms of sexism through the unique creation of her fantasy world. Prince Emory must find a dragon, save the damsel, and then marry her in order to become a true King. This is how it has always been, and this is how it will always be. So when A ...more
First off, I don't even know where to even start when it comes to the trigger warnings for this novel. This was a very, very dark and graphic novel. Intentionally so, but the content had my stomach roiling at moments. Some of the trigger warnings involved in this novel would be for topics involving: abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual), animal abuse, consent, rape, suicide, depression, and self-harm. Guys, when I say this is a dark and heavily graphic story, know that I'm not exagger ...more
Wow, what a powerhouse of an appalling, despairing, and poignant little novel.
This is not light fantasy fare, as the cover or YA categorization might make some believe, but rather a visceral and disturbing examination of the power structures that oppress women, both as they exist today and in the stories we tell (and have told) each other. I loved this book, though I did spend much of the book in a perpetual state of fear and dread, cringing about what would happen next. I cried once; ...more
This is quite a unique, feminist fairy tale! First- let me just put out a trigger warning for... Idk, literally everything? Perhaps I should have made more note of this as I was reading, but I didn't, so just... lots of awful junk goes down, but if you are able to read it, it does lead to a story that will make you as furious about our misogynist society as you need to be.
It poses, at fi ...more
That ending! 😲
Macabre. That’s the only word needed to describe this book. Not what it seems. A black fire-breathing raven in the dark of night screaming for its never more. Sorrow turned to fury melted to glass. Just wow.
|YA Buddy Readers'...: Damsel by Elana K. Arnold - Restarting July 17th 2019||14||23||Jul 19, 2019 06:16AM|
ELANA K. ARNOLD writes books for and about children and teens. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature. Her most recent YA novel, DAMSEL, is a Printz Honor book, Her 2017 novel, WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her middle grade novel, A BOY ...more
This is how he likes me best… when I am in need of rescue.”