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What have I done?! What was I thinking? Okay, let’s start at the beginning… I kept seeing the book series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas on BookTube and Bookstagram and Book Twitter. Yes, basically everywhere you would go for inside book information and commentary.
I Judge Books By Their Covers
I kind of paid attention, but not really because to be honest I am drawn to books based on book covers. Don’t look shocked, most readers are! Whoever came up with the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” was probably right, but what can I say i love pretty book covers. So let’s just say, in my humble opinion the AcoTaR book cover is blah. Which is why I was able to resist it for this long. (To be clear, I am posting the cover images that I have seen around.)
Rereads and Mixed Reviews
But I kept hearing about women re-reading it on Bookstagram. I watched on TikTok a reader fussing about how she was going to buy the series as a treat to herself but had hear mixed reviews. Mixed reviews don’t really bother me because it just means that it floated some peoples’ boats and sank somebody else’s. We all bring something different to the table that affects our reading experience. I prefer to judge for myself.
It was the repeated commentary on re-reading that caught my attention. Fellow book reviewers were giving a cold shoulder to their current TBR pile in favor of re-reading the series. So I decided to finally see what all of the fuss was about. Boy, did I…
Not Your Typical Review
Here are a few thoughts/experiences I had while reading the first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I’m not going to do a full out review because at this point there are PLENTY of them out there. There may be some SPOILERS, but since the series has been out there for a minute I’m relaxing my rule on not including them in my book commentary. Proceed with caution if you too are reading this post out of curiosity and making the decision on whether or not to read this series.
10 Musings I Had While Reading A Court of Thorns and Roses
- Yup, it totally almost wrecked my August TBR goals. I started out with book #1 A Court of Thorns and Roses last weekend…and finished it last weekend. I read 432 pages in approximately 8-9 hours and ignored 4 loads of laundry.
- What is this shenanigans about this being a young adult novel? I have seen lots of grown women talk about this book for grown women reasons. As I read, I was definitely confused about the young adult categorization. The main character starts off as a 19 year old teenager. Isn’t that like new adult or something? Plus there is some spice, which is I guess why I kept hearing grown women talk about it.
- Faeries are indeed scary creatures. I grew up reading folktales and mythology from around the world. It was kind of a super interest of mine. So I know what the true nature of faeries are from that canon and I was not surprised when everyone had sharp teeth. Let go of your Disney and British children playing in a magical garden fantasies folks.
- Beauty and the Beast retelling…I guess a very loose one. I can appreciate it as a guide as I got used to the world building.
- Faeries Wine = Rohypnol. Avoid at all costs. I found that part very disturbing. It struck a nerve, so trigger warning. I almost stopped reading the book because of it. I felt like that portion was unnecessary when the guy was already established as a jerk and Feyre was already going THROUGH IT (yes all caps, that girl was getting destroyed and kept standing back up! Bravo! Girl Power!)
- I know folks were fussing about Tamlin in book two, but if you didn’t see the writing on the wall in book one, I don’t know what to say to you. Wasn’t the scene where he took no responsibility for biting her and leaving a huge bruise and instead blamed her for not “following the rules”, a clue? What about his knack for always leaving her home alone with no explanation, no message of when he would be back? (Anyone getting Team Edward vibes? I’m just saying) And here is where he can really kick rocks…that throne cushion must have been worn down to threadbare because my man surely did not get up not once to stop Feyre’s torture.
- I was wondering about her Dad. He is the worst. Absentee father but worse because he was there the whole time when she was in the human world starving. This guy. I would’ve been mean mugging him the whole time he sat there eating my hard earned rabbit stew if I were Feyre. But I will say her sister, Nesta, did a good job of that. Even though she was her own kind of bad who gave off evil stepsister vibes.
- The world was immersive. I definitely got into it and if there is any evidence of that it would be me trying to reorient myself to the real world after I finished the first book. Whenever that happens I know the world building is good.
- Except for the fact that there are toilets. It’s a weird thing to point out, but everything about the world felt Old Worldy. Like you know a time when modern bathrooms didn’t exist and you only had those chamber pots. So when Feyre mentions a toilet, it just…threw me. This was more prominent in the second book when she was hugging the toilet every night.
- Final word: Tamlin has no game! His friend Lucien did not lie. But alas the man got what he wanted. I was not impressed or pleased.