Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Summary: "When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As Feyre dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever."
- Taken from the inside flap of the book
OK SO. I first read this book last year, not too long after it came out, because obvs I'm the biggest Sarah J. Maas fan and she is my goddess and I worship her and must read everything that she publishes. But I won't lie, I wasn't totally sold on the premise of this book, and I'm so die-hard, crazy-in-love with Celaena from Throne of Glass that I didn't believe that another Maas protangonist could ever be as rad as she is. AND IN ALL FAIRNESS, Feyre is not as badass as Celaena, and I didn't really love her in this first book, BUT she's still pretty cool AND gets even more seriously BA in the sequel that just came out, so it's all good.
Speaking of that, the reason I'm writing this review is because I just fished rereading this book earlier this month so that I could be ready for A Court of Mist and Fury. I remember liking ACOTAR the first time I read it, but wowowow this second read was way way better for some reason! I still think it deserves a four out of five star rating, but I definitely connected with the story much more this time around. Feyre didn't seem so passive and lame-o, or at least I understood better why she was being so quiet and submissive. Although I still felt like Tamlin was sort of an asshole, and while I enjoyed their relationship, I still felt like there was something off about it. Like he was hot, and Feyre needed to get it on, I get that. But everything she did for him when she was Under the Mountain... like whyyyyy, he's not even cool. BUT Rhysand... oh my goddddddddd. BOTH times I read this, I loved loved loved his introduction at Calanmai. You know from that moment on that he's going to be an awesome character, and he definitely doesn't disappoint when we meet him again Under the Mountain. The way he helps Feyre while Tamlin just sits around and watches. LIKE BYE TAMLIN. You're dumb. Rhysand is the coolest. And that's one of the things about Feyre that bothers me, that she doesn't realize how wonderful Rhys is. I don't like it when something is so obvious to the reader, but the protagonist doesn't clue in. So annoying.
I do really really love this book, and I would have given it 5 stars, BUT I felt like there was a huge disconnect between its first and second halves. There was the time when she was at the Spring Court, and that had a certain whimsical atmosphere to it, and then there was the time when she was Under the Mountain, which felt waaaayyy more fantasy. I enjoyed both parts, but they felt like they could almost be two different books! There was such a big jump between the two settings, as well as an even bigger jump in the amount of action that came about in the second half, and those jumps kind of took me out of the story for a minute. Which was enough for me to to give it 4 instead of 5 stars.
Something I was REALLY happy about was that we FINALLY got some sex scenes!! Thank you Maas!! These are supposed to be "Young Adult" books, which generally means: no explicit sex. Which I think is stupid, but I won't get into that right now. The sex in this book was still a bit on the softcore side, because I'm sure Maas has to follow some rules regarding what she is and isn't allowed to publish in a "Young Adult" book, BUT I am beyond happy with what we did get with this book! Something that I've always thought was missing from the Throne of Glass series was sex, which is always eluded to, but never thoroughly fleshed out (lol), and I think that's lame, because I think some real sex would actually benefit the story. Celeana is a fox, and not to mention the most badass female character ever, SO HI, obviously she wants to have crazy hot sex. But anyway, really happy that we got something even close to that with this book. Because its GOOD (and in my mind, a necessary element to complete a story that focuses on relationships).
Love this book. Love Rhysand. Beginning to love Feyre. And this review might be a bit bias, because I'm writing this after already finishing half of ACOMAF. So ya. Look forward to my thoughts on the sequel. CAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM.