Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The YA Investigation, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass

I have decided that the first book I’ll investigate will be A Court of Thorns and Roses since it’s one of my favourites, but still had a few flaws (no book is ever perfect!) This investigation will be spoiler free.

I’ll admit that, despite the wonderful world-building and beautiful writing style there were some aspects of the book that weren’t that great, one of those being the Main Character herself, Feyre.

The main characters are the ones who move the story, the ones we can identify with, whose cause we’ll want to root for. I like getting to know a character, I like to see who they are, what they enjoy to do. Who are these people that are moving the story along? What about their relationships, how do they handle other people?

Feyre was, unfortunately, little of a character to me up until the end of the book. She just had no real personality; things like her love of painting or her inability to write made little effort to build a personality.

She was the typical submissive girl who will let everybody walk over her (which she does) and is constantly apologizing for things she had no control off.

Besides this, another thing I always look for is female friendship. It’s very important to me, just like male friendship, because it’s a part of human nature to want to establish bonds with people that are not your family, and because characters are people it is natural for them to have friends, right? And yet I can count with one hand the YA books I’ve read that portray good friendships (relationships were every girl is a back-stabbing “bitch” do not count, I hate those) and this is no exception; Feyre has absolutely no friends.

Despite having been isolated by her sisters during most of her life, and her father being emotionally absent for most of her childhood, Feyre has never sought out a friend, never craved for that connection. This could have been easily explained in many ways due to our Main Character’s background. Her sisters disdain commoners, so it could be very plausible that they tried and sabotaged any friendship Feyre attempted to make, telling her that they wouldn’t stand it and forbid it. Or it could be that maybe Feyre was ashamed, of what had happened to her family and to his father and so she thought that perhaps people wouldn’t like her.

Instead of any of the above, Feyre simply never thought about friendship. Even though her sisters left her alone and she had no one to talk to, apparently this girl never thought of making any friends. Can you imagine that? For me, the lack of friendships (or thoughts of it) is a clear sign that the character is more of a plot device to make the story move forward rather than an actual character, how can we relate to someone who doesn’t follow basic human needs?

I didn’t appreciate, however, that the only relationship Feyre had outside her family was one that put a strain to the love story. As much as I like that the heroine wasn’t a virgin, it was something she was a bit ashamed off, especially around Tamlin for… reasons.

Besides this we barely see her interact with any other female character except a servant and an evil “seductress” which is a trope I hate a lot, and could have been dealt with a lot better.

The male characters were alright they were certainly much more developed than Feyre, they had friendships, backstories and secrets. I did, however, had a problem when Tamlin got all sexual crazy over Feyre because of some ritual and pinned her against a wall. He contained himself, but when she accussed him the next day they all just laughed it off because it was her fault she was outside her room at night? 

In diversity, well, this was a fantasy world so we had Fairies and Goblins and stuff, but every character including High Faes (Fairies with human aspect) were Caucasian. Feyre is actually described with ivory/pale skin, same goes for Tamlin who is blonde, Lucien is red-haired and Rhysand is super white with dark hair. Ok, they don’t actually say super white but it was always a mix of “pale”-“marble”-“ivory” and all that sort of adjectives that were used to describe his skin.
Faes with different skin colour were barely mentioned. They were there, sometimes… and only in the background.

In the end, A Court of Thorns and Roses had a wonderful setting and unique style but for this YA investigation I’ll say this is a pretty regular story, no especial risks were taken and the characters had little to say for themselves so, yeah, I’ll give it a 2/10 stars which means it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.


  1. Nice post! I haven't read ACOTAR yet, but I've seen SO much hype surrounding this book. This is one of the few times I've seen an honest critique of it!

    Annie @ Indoor Sojourner

    1. Thanks!! :) Yeah, the hype was what got me into reading it in the first place too. It's a good book though, but not perfect

  2. I really enjoyed the retelling of Beauty and the Beast but you bring up a lot of good points. I can't remember why I haven't done a review of this yet.
    There were some things about Feyre where I was just like -_- really?

    1. Thanks! i hope you do it'll be fun to read! Yeah me too, like when she went out to the ritual. She spent the entire first part being afraid of every fairy and wanting to stay away from them, but she suddenly wants to go to a party where there a hundreads of them simply because she wasn't invited? Why??