Book Review: “A Court of Thorns and Roses”

acourtofthornsandroses

RATED: 1.5/5

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

Let’s cut to the chase. There are so many things wrong with this book that I don’t even know where to begin. I can say that at least first of all, this book is not for young adults. Yes there’s a lot of graphic violence but also a lot of sexual tension and a little bit of sex. Truthfully, this girl could’ve been a grown woman and it wouldn’t have made any difference to the story, except that it wouldn’t be in the young adult section of the book store.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is like one big Twilight, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Hunger Games mash up.

My biggest issue with this book is that nothing really makes much sense. I found it hard to believe a lot of things in it.
Why did Feyre not find it bizarre that because of some “treaty”, she had to live with the High Fae of the Spring Court? Wouldn’t there be a ton of other criminal human beings also living there with him if that were the case? Instead, it was all new to all of them and yet there were no questions asked, just constant escape on her mind.

Why did Feyre bother so much with her family? They were horrible and not worth caring for. I understand there was a “promise” she made to her mother before she died but even then, she explained that her mother wasn’t great either when she was alive, so why would she want to keep a promise to someone like that? She slaved away for her family and there was hardly any gratitude in return. Her sisters were selfish and her father may as well have died considering how miserable he was with his botched knee. The way her family was introduced at the start of the book portrayed them so negatively in my eyes, it never made any sense to me why she would be so desperate to get back to them and take care of them when she was able to live a luxurious life without having to work and being able to paint, because she killed a faerie.

Tamlin was a confusing character for me. I felt at times like he was literally just the beast from Beauty and the Beast. His attitude towards Feyre was confusing. One chapter they hate each other and the next chapter he’s like some cute Labrador puppy and they’re in some meadow hanging out in the sun and it’s all happy out of nowhere and they’re getting along so well. Then there was all this sexual tension that I just couldn’t buy. Honestly, I could tell they were supposed to end up together just by how it was being written, but characteristically I couldn’t see it. I mean damn, I shipped Feyre more with Lucien or Rhysand than Tamlin!

That leads me to my next point. The trials that Feyre had to undergo to “prove her love” is true and pure towards Tamlin proved anything but that. How does fighting a giant worm prove you love Tamlin? Doesn’t outsmarting it and killing it prove you are street smart? That doesn’t prove love. That doesn’t have anything to do with Tamlin. Even her second trial proved more about caring about Lucien than Tamlin.

Amarantha was so powerful and evil, and her whole backstory was not enough to justify it. One of my peeves about stories are when there is an evil person who is just… too evil, you know? It’s like she’s just being evil to be evil. There’s nothing really there to her character apart from some very petty revenge she should have gotten over decades ago. I also find it hard to believe that all of Prythian would have submitted to her so easily. If someone rules over a country the way she does, she would have caused a riot so fast that she would have been dead or other decades ago.

This one book could have been two separate books. The story of the blight/curse and then Feyre’s long ass story. Another peeve of mine is when a character has to explain everything instead of information being found out as the story progressed. I don’t know if that would have been possible for this book, but when Alis explained the entire bloody history of Prythian and the curse, etc. just, no! It’s not natural or realistic. It’s as if the author had written the whole backstory about the blight separate to the book, but then couldn’t find a way to integrate it into the story, so she just copied and pasted it into Alis’ mouth. And it was conveniently part of the curse that they weren’t physically able to tell Feyre any of this during the 49 years.

I don’t think I need to explain why I didn’t like the part where Feyre was dead, but then the High Lords all gathered around her body and dropped some golden kernels on her and she came back to life as a High Fae.

ACOTAR moved at an infuriatingly slow pace. A whole lot of nothing happened in the middle. There are about 200 pages worth of things that didn’t need to happen, or could’ve been written faster. For an illiterate girl, Feyre sure has a lot of descriptive eloquent thoughts.

I was most impressed with the writing. It was beautiful. I could really picture everything, from the description of different kinds of magic, to even the way a person can have a hundred different kinds of smiles (Amarantha). Truthfully, it may have been part of the problem the book moved so slowly. There was one part that went on for 3 pages where Feyre was describing music that she could hear playing somewhere in the distance. Like I get it, there’s music playing and it reminds you of Tamlin from that night of festivities. The only reason I finished reading this book was because I bought it (I try not to leave unfinished books on my shelf) and because there was so much hype around this trilogy that I was hoping the story would get better, but it was a mess. If I had borrowed this from the library I would have stopped about 100 pages in.
Finishing this book was actually quite a relief because of how long it dragged on.

I feel terrible for leaving such a scathing review. There were a lot of issues with the story and so much of it was not believable but weirdly enough, I didn’t hate it as much as I thought. If the writing wasn’t so good, this would’ve had no stars and maybe not even a review because I would not have bothered finishing it.

Sarah J. Maas sure knows her way around words, but the story had a lot of holes that needed filling. Who knows, maybe the next two books make the story better (though sequels rarely are) but I think I’m going to give this series a miss and move on to faster-paced things.

Amateur Review: Thor (2011)

*Please note that when I call them “Amateur Reviews”, they’re not technically reviews, they are actually just my scattered thoughts on the subject at hand.
**This also contains juicy spoilers you may or may not want to read.

I just finished watching Thor, and I’ll be honest with you, it’s very hard for me to engage in films such as this one. The “epic”, “other-worldy” kind where they dress up in elaborate costumes and speak in dramatic Old English accents even though they’re from an entirely other “realm”. Because that’s all I see when I watch this kind of film – grown men wearing costumes and playing heroes. It doesn’t matter the budget, I can’t take it seriously sometimes. It just looks a tad ridiculous! Especially Loki with his horn-shaped looking helmet thing. Maybe it’s just me; I never got into Marvel comics.

This film, however, slightly impressed me. There wasn’t anything particularly notable in terms of script, acting, editing, whatever – I was mostly impressed that I was actually entertained. I’m not so much into these kinds of movies, but I decided to give it a go since my whole film class is obsessed with The Avengers and Batman and I’m clueless when they start talking about it. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this movie. I liked the turn in character of Loki. I don’t know if I’m the only one who felt this way, but I actually still felt sympathetic towards him at the end of the movie. To me, he became this power-hungry kid who just got his first taste of real authority and got too excited over it. And I can’t remember the exact words, but I remember him saying to Thor, something like, “I never wanted the throne; I only wanted to be your equal.” The fact that Thor was such an arrogant bastard at the start too, also made it seem like I can understand why Loki went nuts. I remember thinking at the start of the film, why the hell does Thor get to be crowned and not Loki? The IMDb synopsis described Loki in the crowning ceremony as “looking on enviously” which I think is total bullspit. Loki seemed so genuine and was always supportive of Thor and not slightly rebellious like he was (that was until we found out Loki actually helped the frost giants from Jötunheim to get to the blue power casket thing). But I like that about this film, because even though this is a “superhero” film of sorts, the villain is a little bit different. He’s not blatantly evil. I’d usually dislike the villain from the beginning, because I knew he was going to be evil, but this time, it was a bit of a slow build. I’ll admit here and now, I am the only living being of this generation who hasn’t seen The Avengers, so I recognised Loki from the trailers and whatnot, but I actually couldn’t place him of what kind of character he actually was, until I found out his name was Loki.

I sound like I don’t like Thor as a character, but he’s alright I suppose. I can’t help but see him as this uncultured, brawn-and-no-brain kind of guy though, which doesn’t mean I don’t like him, it’s just that he seems like one of those innocently dumb characters who you can’t help but love (“This drink. I like it. Another!” *smashes mug on the ground*).

Another thing I couldn’t help but scrutinise in terms of cinematography is the constant dutch tilt they were doing after Thor was banished to Earth. I get that it’s meant to make the situation feel all out of place because he’s in another world and it’s all weird and different, but I feel like it was a tad overdone, and perhaps applied to some of the wrong shots, like the establishing wide shot of the cafe. It was too noticeable. In fact, I think I noticed each time it was a dutch tilt, and I was taught that good cinematography (and editing) should be smooth enough to not notice these kinds of things. It should just evoke the feeling that the shot intended, but not make us blatantly aware of how it evoked that feeling (in this case, it’s noticing that there is a dutch tilt on a shot). When they did dutch tilts during Thor and Loki’s conversation in that interrogation room, I noticed it, but forgave it because to me it seemed quite natural (most people wouldn’t notice it) and had a very clear intention. But that’s really the only negative note I, as a complete amateur (and in no way think I’m right, this is all opinion!), can give.
Well… I was a little bit sceptical about how or why a strong relationship ever happened between Thor and Jane. It seems to me like they only knew each other for a very short time and never really bonded enough for me to believe that they miss each other and think about each other a lot after their separation. It was a little bit Romeo and Juliet in terms of how fast they fell for each other.

Other than those pretty minor things, I thought it was pretty good. The main things I look for in a film is entertainment (of course) and for it to be thought-provoking. I feel like this is one of those American, big-budget type of films that are more concerned about entertainment value and influx (? What’s the word I’m looking for?!) of money at the box office. But if their aim was to entertain me, then well done.

I rate Thor: ★★★½✰✰